Wednesday
Aug292018

Beewolf

A female beewolf, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae).  On first seeing it I assumed it was a rather docile common wasp but on closer inspection it seemed more like a small hornet with the brownish patches on the sides of the head and the bright yellow face:

Far from being docile, beewolfs actually hunt down and kill honey bees.

Specimen taken between Kennet Mouth and Thames Valley Park, Reading on 2018-08-25.

Saturday
Aug112018

Sarcophagid Fly

A female Miltogramma punctata (Diptera: Sarcophagidae).

Specimen taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK on 2018-08-11.  Identified using the key of Pape, 1987.

Sunday
Aug052018

Ephydrid fly

A male Dichaeta caudata (Diptera: Ephydridae) with its rather impressive tail of backward-pointing spines.

Specimen taken in Thames Valley Park, Reading, UK on 2018-08-04.

Wednesday
Jul182018

Snipe Fly

A male Chrysopilus laetus (Diptera: Rhagionidae). Another first for me.

Specimen taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK, on 2018-07-08.  Identified using the key of Stubbs & Drake, 2001.

Saturday
Jul142018

Bee fly

A female Villa cingulata (Diptera: Bombyliidae).

A female because there is a distinct gap between the eyes and the ocellar tubercle:

and cingulata rather than venusta because the darkening on the wing is largely restricted to the costal cell and is only weak and discontinuous elsewhere:

This is the first Villa sp I have ever come across.  When I first caught it I assumed that it was an Eristalis sp hoverfly so let it go again.  But then almost immediately it occurred to me that there was something odd about it (something about the way it held its wings out when it settled) so I chased after it and caught it again.  Only then did I realise that it was probably a bee fly.

Specimen taken in The Wilderness, Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK on 2018-07-08.  Identified using the key of Stubbs & Drake, 2001.