Sunday
Jul042010

Longhorn Moths

From a month ago: a pair of Nemophora degeerella (Lepidoptera: Adelidae) mating.  This summer whirling swarms of between 3 and about 20 of these moths have been quite common, usually in sheltered clearings between the trees.  I was walking through one such swarm when these two suddenly dropped out of the swarm and fell into the long grass.  The one with the longer antennae is the male.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-05-30.

Saturday
Jul032010

Markets Misprice

Markets misprice: fact.

Just look at the fact that some enormously overpaid footballers have been humiliated over the last couple of weeks by a succession of teams staffed by people who are paid less.

Congratulations to all England’s opponents for pointing this fact out so graphically. 

´╗┐Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK.

(Of course this assumes that the aim of football is to win games, and not just to make lots of money by franchises, sponsorship deals, advertising, TV rights, etc.)

Saturday
Jul032010

Soldier Fly

A male soldier fly, probably Beris morrisii (Diptera: Stratiomyidae).  Note the swollen black first tarsus on the hind legs.  I thought this ought to be a useful clue as to the species and I initially found a good match with this photo of Beris schaposchnikowi (= B. schapschnikovi) at diptera.info, but felt a bit reluctant to assign my fly to such an obviously exotic eastern species just on general appearance.  And it turned out I was right to be careful: I later came across these three threads on the French site Le Monde des Insects in which Stephane ('Chlorophane') indicates that B. schaposchnikowi is not found in Europe, but the very similar B. morrisii is.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-05-06.

Friday
Jul022010

Longhorn Beetle

Longhorn beetle Phytoecia cylindrica (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).  These often hold their antennae in this T-shaped attitude.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-06-02.

Thursday
Jul012010

Ichneumon Wasp

Probably Amblyteles armatorius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae).

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-06-29.