Saturday
Jun302018

Ulidiid Fly

A male Herina lugubris (Diptera: Ulidiidae).

The frons is bright orange:

Specimen taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK, on 2018-06-30.  Identified using the key of Clements (1990).

Friday
Jun292018

Muscid Fly

A male Lispe tentaculata (Diptera: Muscidae).  Identified using the key of Fonseca (1968).

The the face is yellow and the palps are large and orange (though they appear white in the above image):

The main tarsus on each fore leg has a 'long finger-like process':

Normally these processes align parallel to the tarsus and do not stick out as much as this.

This was one of 4 specimens that I caught in Whiteknights Park on 2018-06-22.

Monday
Jun252018

Platystomatid Fly


A male Rivellia syngenesiae (Diptera: Platystomatidae).

Specimen taken in Whiteknights Park on 2018-06-22.

Only the second I have come across: I caught a female in Whiteknights Park on 2017-06-17.

Sunday
Feb252018

Moth

What I think is a winter shade moth, Tortricodes alternella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), one of many that were infesting our living room over the past 6 months. 

I first noticed them in August last year when I started systematically catching them and putting them out of the window.  Eventually I was catching up to a dozen of them each day. Then I started finding the odd caterpillar crawling up the living room wall.  It happened that our aged vacuum cleaner had broken down a few weeks before we started noticing them, so I went out a bought a replacement.  Also, we found that in the corner of the living room was a open bag of hamster food in a disused hamster cage (our last hamster had died a few months earlier).  I suspect that the bag was where the moth caterpillars were developing but I didn't systematically investigate. Instead I just sealed the bag and put it in the bin.  The number of moths then slowly went down again and by November I assumed the problem was solved. 

Then, in January they started appearing again.  Only now did I attempt to identify the moths and this turn out to be unexpectedly difficult.  My usual method of going to UKMoths and stepping through all the species until I found a match did not reveal any likely candidates. It was only when I started looking for moths that might be active in January did I come across Tortricodes alternella. This moth tends to have a large light patch at the front, as in the above image, but is rather variable in both pattern and colour.  However, the strongest evidence in favour of this identification is that T. alternella is active in both August and January, the two months in which our infestations were at their peak.

Specimen taken in Malvern Court, Reading, UK on 2018-02-16.

Saturday
Dec022017

Tachinid Fly

A female Sturmia bella (Diptera: Tachinidae).

Specimen collected in Chazey Wood, near Caversham, UK on 2017-10-28.