Thursday, 15 June 2017

June 15th Catton Park

Catton Park
I went for a quick search for hoverflies at Catton Park this afternoon. Now, I have a confession. While creating and drawing my tick sheet of invertebrate targets that I wanted to look for throughout this year, I had reached target number 30 and I was starting to struggle in coming up with ideas of what it could be. That was when I decided that target 30 should be a hoverfly as I was neglecting them until then. But there are 281 species in the UK, so there was a lot to choose from. I am not an expert in hoverflies. Most of them look very similar to me. So in the end, I picked one that I know I've seen before, Leucozona glaucia, and I used my Collins Complete British Insects book as reference to draw it. After drawing it, I wrote the species Latin name underneath. Except I made a mix up while doing so and wrote Xanthogramma pedissequum instead, an entirely different species! Oops!

Not sure
To be honest, the mix up doesn't matter too much. The reason I decided to place a hoverfly on the list in the first place was to explore this group of insects, a group I don't know much about. I could have any species on my list and I would be more than satisfied. So I made a quick search in a patch of brambles to see what I could find. But this simple visit turned out to be a nightmare for me. Not only was my camera playing up on the focus when taking macro shots (as it often does), I also suddenly had the urge in needing to relieve myself in a place with no toilets. In the end, these were the best shots I could manage before I had to rush back home, which was only a short walk away, but felt much longer due to my currant state at the time.

Myathropa Florae?

Great Pied Hoverfly
I may not know what all of these hoverflies, but while trying to fight my camera and my bowels, I did notice that they came in many shapes and sizes and that the stripes varied in pattern and colour. I even saw one that was like a hornet, but annoyingly it flew away before I could get the camera to focus on it. I'm not sure if I saw a Leucozona glaucia (or even a Xanthogramma pedissequum at that matter) or not, but I did see one that was rather close, which turned out to be this great pied hoverfly. If you're an expert, let me know what they are as I have no clue.

Not sure
Sawfly (Rhogogaster viridis)
As well as hoverflies, I also saw plenty of bumblebees, honey bees, a comma, a scorpionfly and a few sawflies, including this pretty green one. I shall have to search these brambles again another day, hopefully without the sudden urge of going to the loo.

Thick-thighed Flower Beetle
Red-headed Cardinal Beetle
Galls on a Sycamore leaf

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