Monday, March 23, 2009

Early Thorn

I ran my garden Moth trap during the evening of 20/03/09, and managed quite a good catch for this time of the year. The list was as follows: Small Quaker = 6 Common Quaker = 1 Hebrew Character = 1 Early Thorn = 1

The star moth of the evening was the Early Thorn Selenia dentaria as shown above. Although this is a common species, this was the first time I have recorded it in my garden. There are several different species of British thorns, but this one can easily be identified by the resting positions of the wings. It resembles a butterfly with its wings held up over its back and pressed together.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The first Hoverfly of the year

The photograph above was taken on 21st February this year, when the temperature was 7.7'c at 09:45. It shows a Hoverfly Eristalis tenax, which can often be mistaken for a Honey bee, basking on the back wall of my house in the morning sunshine.

A key identification feature of this species is the dark front tarsus (the last part of the leg, just above the foot), and this shows up quite well against the mortar line of the brick wall.

This is one of the few hoverflies that is possible to see in every month of the year and is widespread and abundant.

The 21st February is now the earliest date that I have recorded a hoverfly in my garden.