Monday
Jan252010

Orange Muscid Fly

Another female Muscid fly, this time probably Phaonia pallida (Diptera: Muscidae).  Thricops diaphanus is similar but has black between its eye, instead of orange.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-09-06.

Sunday
Jan242010

Muscid Fly

A female Muscid fly, possibly Phaonia valida (Diptera: Muscidae), though I could be wrong about that as there quite a few other Muscid species that look very similiar to this.

The tiny wasp in the lower left corner makes the fly look enormous.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-09-06.

Saturday
Jan232010

Figwort Sawfly

A figwort sawfly, Tenthredo scrophulariae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). It is the yellow-orange antennae that distinguish this species from several other black and yellow sawflies.  The larvae of this species are also rather pretty.

The red flower is, I think, water figwort (Scrophularia auriculata = Scrophularia aquatica), but the leaves are from another plant, probably bindweed.  A couple of months later I came across weevils on the same figwort plants, see here.

Photo taken beside the large lake, Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-08-12.

Friday
Jan222010

Germander Speedwell

From last spring: germander speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys).  According to John Hutchinson (British Wild Flowers, Volume 2, Penguin Books, 1955),

The flowers of this plant are very beautiful when seen through a hand-lens.  Nectar is secreted in a fleshy disk around the base of the ovary and protected by hairs partly across the mouth of the corolla.  The two stamens are lateral and divergent and are seized by an insect alighting on the flower and drawn against its body, on which pollen is deposited and carried to the stigma of another flower.

The pollen at the ends of the stamens is visible in the above photo as the white blobs in front of the left and right petals.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-03.

Thursday
Jan212010

Another Hoverfly

From late last spring: a male hoverfly, probably Meliscaeva auricollis (Diptera: Syrphidae), on a buttercup flower (Ranunculus sp.).  For a photo of another Meliscaeva species see here.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-29.