Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Summery wildlife garden

A walk around the lush meadows of the wildlife garden yielded a number of invertebrate sightings. The day flying Six Spot Burnet moths, with their bright red-pink and dark metallic wings feasted on the knapweed (above).
A Meadow Brown feeds on the abundant oregano.
I caught a Small Skipper and a Six spot burnet on knapweed.
These are two shots of Small Skippers, one of my favourite butterflies. The way they carry their wings, held at different angles, instead of pressed together like other butterflies, is quite characteristic.

On the grass, there were many nursery webs of the nursery web spider Pisaura mirabilis. With a bit of patience, the guarding females could be spotted on or under the tents. She guards the eggs, and then the spiderlings which hatch inside the nursery web and remain in it for a few days.
A female Pisaura mirabilis.
My first summer generation Comma Butterfly.
And the first Gatekeepers. These two weren't wasting any time and were mating
Male Gatekeeper.
A Ringlet sat atop a ragwort inflorescence. Once I got closer, I realised the butterfly was dead, prey for a spider that often builds its web under flowers, Enophlognatha ovata.
This large hoverfly is one of my favourites, Chrysotoxum festivum. I often see a male hovering over the pond in the wildlife garden.
I took this shot on the 9th of July this year of the hovering male.
And in the oregano, a cuckoo bumblebee, Bombus ruderarius rupestris which parasitizes the similar looking Bombus lapidarius.

3 comments:

Countryside Tales said...

That small skipper is very moth-like. Great shot of the hover fly in the air, but I'm NOT a fan of spiders AT ALL!! :-)

Al said...

Hi Africa,
An outstanding post! You really have a wonderful garden.. My favorite, would have to be the Cuckoo bee!
(But, they are all excellent!)

Anonymous said...

It's rupestris not ruderarius. ;)