Saturday, 17 August 2013

More Shoreham

Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus.  Shoreham, on 3 August 2013.
Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus.  Shoreham, on 3 August 2013.
At Shoreham we saw some of my favourite hoverfly.  It's probably our commonest species, and you can see it all through the summer.   It makes a really good photo against the yellow flowers it seems to favour.

I also caught a good shot of another hoverfly:

Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri.  Shoreham, 3 August 2013.
Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri.  Shoreham, 3 August 2013.
Pity it was on a tatty flower!  And there were quite a few grasshoppers and crickets chirping away in the grass.  This one is a Speckled Bush-cricket.

Speckled Bush-cricket, Leptophyes punctatissima.  Female.  Shoreham, 3 August 2013.
Speckled Bush-cricket, Leptophyes punctatissima.  Female.  Shoreham, 3 August 2013.
It's a female, and that sickle-shaped projection at the back is its ovipositor.  The eggs are laid in plant stems or under tree bark, so it needs something fairly powerful to get in there.  I saw a Speckled Bush-cricket laying under oak bark last September, and that's tough stuff.

Thyme Plume, Merrifieldia leucodactyla.  Pterophoridae.  Shoreham, 3 August 2013.
Thyme Plume, Merrifieldia leucodactyla.  Pterophoridae.  Shoreham, 3 August 2013.
This was a tiny, delicate plume moth.  They are so called because when they are at rest, their wings look almost like feathers.  When the insect perches, it rolls its wings up.  Some species have tightly-rolled wings and look like a letter T; in others, like this Thyme Plume, you can see a forking towards the tips where the fore and hind wings diverge.

1 comment:

  1. Since these are among the most fascinating and photogenic of your insect subjects, I thought I ought to learn a bit more about them, such as whether N. America has any (!). Google yielded a very generous web page, "All About Hover Flies", by C. V. Duke, which inter alia taught me not to be so disgusted by maggots. Like Bumble Bees, they are downright charming.