Saturday
Oct312009

Common Flower Bug

A common flower bug, Anthocoris nemorum (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), probably on a the leaf of a blackberry bush (Rubus sp.), though I have more frequently seen them on stinging nettles (Urtica dioica).  At only 3 or 4mm long, these bugs are really quite small.  The similar A. nemoralis and A. confusus tend to be a little darker and prefer to live on deciduous trees.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-06-23.

Friday
Oct302009

Light Brown Apple Moth

From back in early September: a light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).  This is a leaf-roller moth of some economic importance as a pest. Its larvae grow on many types of plant, not just apple trees. It originated in Australia but has spread to Britain, New Zealand, Hawaii and has recently been discovered in California.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-09-05.

Thursday
Oct292009

Small Capsid Bug on Nettle Leaf

When I first saw this tiny (3-4mm long) bug on a nettle leaf I assumed it must be Anthocoris nemorum, a small flower bug I had previously seen on nettles in that area (photo here).  However, on closer inspection, I realized that the pattern of light and dark areas on its back were wrong for A. nemorum.  Later, when I got back home, I was able to properly identify it as Liocoris tripustulatus (Hemiptera: Miridae) a capsid bug that is known to feed on nettles.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-10-04.

Tuesday
Oct272009

Ichneumon Wasp

From an overcast day back in early September, an ichneumon wasp (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), I have no idea of the genus nor the species.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-09-05.

Monday
Oct262009

Torymid Wasp on a Smooth Spangle Gall

A female Torymid wasp, probably Torymus sp. (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), checking out a smooth spangle gall on the underside of an oak leaf. 

Smooth spangle galls are produced by the larvae of the Cynipid wasp Neuroterus albipes.  Some Torymid wasps parasitize N. albipes by using their long ovipositors to drill into the gall and lay their eggs next to the larva in its centre.  When the Torymid larva hatches it then feeds on the N. albipes larva.

On this occasion the Torymid wasp stayed on the gall only for a few seconds and so presumably did not lay an egg.  Maybe it was able to detect that the gall had already been parasitized?

For more photos of these green Torymid wasps see here.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-10-25.