Thursday 15 February 2018

A Selection of Inverebrates from Last Year

A quick break from all the botany today with a selection of invertebrates that I've photographed throughout last year but haven't put in any blog posts yet. It wasn't all butterflies. They are from all over the country so I'll just put them in categories and state the location with the photographs.

Caterpillars and Eggs

 This Puss Moth caterpillar was on a sallow tree on Bovey Heathfield Industrial Estate, Devon 

Puss Moth - Cerura vinula


Privet Hawk Moth - Sphinx ligustri
Studland Village, Dorset 

Orange TipAnthocharis cardamines

Ranscombe Farm Kent.

Orange Tip Egg. Ramshorn Down. Devon
On Hedge GarlicAlliaria petiolata

Northern Brown Argus eggs. Grantown on Spey. Scotland
On Common Rock-rose - Helianthemum nummularium

Peacock - Aglais io
These were at Studland, Dorset, and on 23rd August were very late too 

Marsh Fritillary - Euphydryas aurinia
 at Alners Gorse 

The Drinker - Euthrix potatoria
At Upton Fen Norfolk

Small Eggar - Eriogaster lanestris
Green Down Somerset

The Wormwood Moth Caterpillar has the most amazing camouflage

Wormwood - Cucullia absinthii on  
Wormwood - Artemisia absinthium
 Portland, Dorset 

Dragonflies & Damselflies

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator
 Female at Bovey Heathfield , Devon

Small Red Damselfly - Ceriagrion tenellum
mating pair on Stoborough Heath, Dorset. 

Red-veined Darter - Sympetrum fonscolombii
Compton Bay Undercliffs, Isle of Wight.

Northern DamselflyCoenagrion hastulatum
Abernethy Forest, Speyside, Scotland.

Again in pools in Abernethy Forest. It was brilliant to see a newly emerged 
dragonfly for the first time. In this case a Four-spotted Chaser. 

Four-spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculata


Ruby Tiger Moth - Phragmatobia fuliginosa
Mating pair at Lankham Bottom, Dorset.
Pyrausta nigrata at Denge Wood, Kent

White Spotted Sable - Anania funebris
Glasdrum Wood, Argyll, Scotland.

Rannoch Looper - Macaria brunneata
Tulloch Moor, Speyside, Scotland. 

I was fortunate to see one of my 'most wanted' moths at Portland Bird Observatory, the stunning ....

Crimson Speckled - Utetheisa pulchella


Or spider to be more precise. There were lots of lovely big female Wasp Spiders on Ballard Down,Dorset this summer. Feasting on Adonis Blue butterflies amongst others things.

With Bumble Bee

With Adonis Blue

 Wasp Spider - Argiope bruennichi

Flies, Wasps and Ants

Tenthredo temula a sawfly, Branscombe Undercliff, Devon

A Hairy-eyed Cranefly - Pedicia rivosa
Tulloch Moor, Speyside, Scotland. 

We were fortunate enough to see quiet a few Hornet Robberflies last summer especially at Ballard Down. We even saw a mating pair.

I see he has to grip onto her eyes!
It makes me wonder if he's saying "Guess who!"

Hornet Robberfly - Asilus crabroniformis

This is the Heath Bee-fly a very rare species which can only be found in the Purbeck area of Dorset. This one was seen on Hartland Moor. They have a very high pitched buzz and you can usually hear one well before you see it.

They are really quick but fortunately they seem to love Hawkbit flowers and will visit everyone in a patch. So getting a photo isn't too tricky.

Heath Bee-fly - Bombylius minor

This is a female Heath Sand Wasp. She progressively provisions her nest with caterpillars, resealing the entrance after each caterpillar is added. She couldn't fit this caterpillar into the hole and is seen here carrying away some sand that she as just excavated from the hole. Eventually she managed to carry the paralyzed caterpillar down into the nest and filled the hole in again. It makes you wonder how on earth they know where the nest is when they return!

Heath Sand Wasp - Ammophila pubescens
Narrow-headed AntFormica exsecta
  Chudleigh Knighton Heath, Devon in its only site outside of the Scottish Highlands.


There was a bit of a plague of these Froghopper nymphs in the bushes at Dungeness. No idea what species they were but probably Aphrophora Sp.

This fairly large Bristletail was on limestone rocks at Gait Barrows, Cumbria.
I think it's a Dilta Sp.

Bristletail - Dilta hibernica possibly?


Brian Hicks said...

Stunning images Karen especially the caterpillars and eggs, superb macro. Regards Brian

Chris Proctor said...

Yes, the bristletail is a Dilta sp. The short antennae, rectangular compound eyes (rather resembling wraparound sunglasses)and ocelli at the outer, lower angle of the compound eye all identifyit to this genus. To identify to species you'd need to examine a male under a microscope.

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks Brian I'll be trying to get some more photos of eggs this year. It's quite a challenge,

Thanks for your help Chris. Glad I got the genus correct, I suspected that species level would be a microscope job!