All about Insects 2019

  • I know the camera thing well. If I don't take mine you can guarantee at least 3 different species so close they may as well be perching on the brim of my hat and then when I do have it, they all hide! I think it's a bad case of Murphy's Law

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Last week, I came across a woman photographer holding this, perched on a stick. Neither of us had a clue what it was, although it was vaguely wasp-like, big, slightly larger than a queen bee, a little forbidding and, I thought, oddly exotic. After she had finished, I put it in the sun and took a few photos hoping to identify it later. I failed. In fact, I thought it might have travelled back in the luggage compartment of a European coach trip or something similar.

    Today, I had to look up a Sawfly ID and what was the first thing I found … yes, this big beastie. I never dreamt it might have been a Sawfly. Apparently, it is a Birch Sawfly, which is completely native and quite harmless despite the appearance. After it warmed up in the sun a bit, it flew off a little clumsily.

    Typically, the Sawfly I wanted to ID (below), I couldn't! Too many similar ones that don't quite match everything, from leg colour to black marks on the wings. Odd the way things go, isn't it ...

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Interesting insect and well done finding out the ID Nige, I don't know how you do it as there are so many species !

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • I do that all the time Nigel, hunting for one thing & spot the ID of something else. Handy though, reduces the numbers in the mystery folder from time to time! LOL
    Did you check out the Agridae Arge sp for the yellow/orange one? Have a look here www.galerie-insecte.org/.../Fam_Argidae_01.html

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • Thanks Hazy - you need a fair bit patience to get started but it's same with birds, the more you do it, the easier it becomes as you begin to tell which type and even which family it's from and narrow down where to look … well more often anyway!
    Thanks for the link Hazel. I did look in Argidae, although your link contains more examples, but as far as I can tell the most likely candidate is restricted to S. Britain, so perhaps unlikely.
    I think I'm tending towards something from Tenthredinidae/Selandriinae at the moment, as one of those looks very similar and is reportedly common throughout UK. There are still complications but perhaps Selandria sp is as close as I can get.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Oh yes just looked at the antennas & it's spot on for Selandria. There are only 2 in France & the difference appears to be the amount of black on the Thorax. Learn something new every day!

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • Today at Arne

    and a peacock butterfly, that I've not seen in years

  • Lots of damselfies and bees enjoying the sunshine yesterday;     I think this is a Tawny Mining Bee Common Carder Bee  (my grateful thanks to Nige for correct ID) 

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Lovely photos Hazy, our Ceanothus just outside the door is covered with flowers & bees, I think the honey will have a blue tinge around here!

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Very nice photos

    HAZY said:
    I think this is a Tawny Mining Bee but stand to be corrected  !

    Unfortunately, I will have to correct you! I know you have Tawny's in the garden as you have put up photos before but they aren't the commonest red bees. Tawny's have completely black faces. These are Common Carder bees which are one of the common 7 or 8 social bumblebees, so you will certainly have them in the garden too. 

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    Nige   Flickr