Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Az U were

With our planned trip to Cragside postponed today due to Sprog1 not feeling very well, this afternoon I managed an hour or so at Far pasture in glorious sunshine, so hoping for a few more damsels, some different species, or even a four-spot chaser on the wing by now.

But I'm afraid it was a case of 'as you were' as only azure damselflies were to be found once again, the only difference being there are now a few mature individuals in full blue/black garb.

First mature azure seen this year, blue and black the
only colours on show

And another

I checked both the main pond and the forbidden pond but both were Odonata-free zones, and the damsels weren't showing that well at the roadside either so I snapped a few of the more interesting insects I encountered :

I first thought this was a hornet on seeing the brown
markings on the thorax and it being so large, but later found it to
be a Queen Median Wasp, a species first noted in southern England
in the 1980s, and has been spreading north ever since.


They build nests in trees and bushes making paper from wood pulp,
you can see the marks where this Queen is stripping wood from
the fence to construct her nest.   
Soldier Beetles
Many similar species, getting their name from
their red and black colouring, reminiscent
of soldiers uniforms of days gone by. 

Flesh Fly
So named as they live on carrion, and fairly unique in that
the female lays live young rather than eggs.

Snipe Flies
Known in some parts as the 'down-looker' fly due to its habit of
resting pointing downwards (like above)

Similar to robber-flies they catch smaller insects by
darting out at them from a perch, though these two are too busy
doing other things to think about food. 

The macro world is fascinating, you just need to be able to see it, watch out for my next post :-O


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