Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Winter Ball

The sun appeared shyly behind the clouds after a shower. It is milder than in the last few days today and I wandered out in the garden to try and get some shots of the Winter Gnats (Trichoceridae). These are dipterans which are active on the winter months. Males gather in swarms from a few to dozens of individuals in assembly points over prominent bushes or trees and fly bobbing up and down. If you can get close to the swarm they might take you as their 'assembly point' and dance over your head. Occasionally each individual alights on the bushes. That's how I got the still shot of one.
Females enter the swarm to chose a male and mate.
Other than the Winter Gnats there was little active buglife in the garden. Three 7 Spot Ladybirds are hibernating in between the leaves of the Monkey Puzzle.
Hibernating 7-Spot ladybirds

2 comments:

Les said...

A really great blog. I like your writing, very interesting and informative.

Blackbird said...

Thank you for your comments Les! All the best with your new website!