Tuesday 21 February 2012

Spring unfurling

 We rose to quasi tropical temperatures for mid February today, reaching 15.5 oC in this clear sunny day. Many overwintering bugs woke up, stretched and started buzzing about. Tens, hundreds of 7 spot ladybirds everywhere, coming out from folded, dried up leaves and positioning themselves on sunny spots. I disturbed a green caterpillar while gardening and woodlice were also active.
 The garden is still very sparse in the flower front. Today the first tete-a-tete daffodil opened and there are a few primroses. That is a problem if you rely on nectar and pollen for energy. Two droneflies (Eristalis tenax) including the female on the top shot fed on honeydew on the ivy. Notice its long, dark proboscis licking the leaf and the spots of honeydew on the leaf on the foreground. Later one of them flew to the Lauristinus, which is now in full bloom, where it joined a honeybee and another early hoverfly species (Meliscaeva auricollis).  Marmalade flies (Episyrphus balteatus) were also about.
Dronefly on Laurustinus
A dead queen wasp
Marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus
The hoverfly Meliscaeva auricollis also in Laurustinus


RayHolden said...

I don't think I have ever before seen as many 7-Spots as were out yesterday. "hundreds" were what I was also seeing in S. Yorks. (... and only one Harlequin :)

In the middle of one 7-Spot cluster on some Ivy , I found my first Green Shieldbug of 2012. I don't normally see them until late March/early April.

But no Hoverflies.

Africa Gomez said...

Ha, ha, we had an almost parallel day Ray! I was confused at first as I had never seen green shieldbugs that dark. I counted 100 7 spot ladybirds and got bored of counting, they seem to be having a series of good years.