Sunday, 19 July 2015

New one for the garden. Speckled Bush Cricket.

These chaps seem a lot commoner than they were several years ago, particularly here in Nottinghamshire.  Therefore a nice surprise when picking a few gooseberries.  

Speckled Bush Cricket,  Leptophyes punctatissima. Carlton Nottinghamshire July 2015

Friday, 17 July 2015

A Sharp-tailed Bee, but which one?

I have a regular visitor to my nesting leaf-cutter bees at present, a sharp tailed bee genus Coelioxys.  I think its either C. inermis or C. elongata.  I'm afraid without killing it I'm not in a position to confirm the I'd.  However a lovely bee and even though it has the job of a cleptoparasite of the leaf-cutters is a welcome and uncommon site here in Nottinghamshire.  Any hymenopteran experts reading this, if you can identify from the photographs then please let me know. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015


A recent trip to the East Coast got me photographing pyramidal Orchids and not surprisingly Pyramidal Orchids with attendent Six Spot Burnet Moths.  I've always considered it just coincidence that you often get both together,  both the burnet moths food plant, birds foot trefoil and the orchids live in similar habitats and the moths merely make use of the orchids as a nectar source. However if you take a close look at the photograph on the left you can see that the tongue of the moth has several appendages attached. These are the pollinia of the pyramidal orchid. Pollinia are one mass of pollen grains that are the product of only one anther. They are transferred during pollination as a single unit. So this is what the moth is inadvertently doing getting the pollinia stuck to its tongue and transferring the whole mass to a new flower. Pretty impressive I think. 

Pyramidal Orchid, Lincolnshire July 2015 

Common Spotted Orchid, Lincolnshire July 2015 

Pyramidal Orchid, Lincolnshire July 2015