Wednesday
Jul142010

Spider Wasp

A spider wasp, probably a Priocnemis sp. (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae).  These wasps hunt spiders which they paralyze and then place beside their eggs in a burrow as a food supply.

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

Tuesday
Jul132010

Yet another Species of Knapweed Gall Fly

On the same clump of knapweed as the Urophora jaceana from ten days earlier, but here the pattern on the wings is slightly different so I think this one is probably Urophora stylata (Diptera: Tephritidae).

Photos taken in the Wilderness, Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-06-25.

Monday
Jul122010

Small Black Fly

From a few weeks ago: small black fly, probably a Calliopum sp. (Diptera: Lauxaniidae).  On an oak leaf.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-06-19.

Sunday
Jul112010

Another Knapweed Gall Fly

Gall fly Chaetostomella cylindrica (Diptera: Tephritidae) on knapweed (Centaurea nigra). Similar to, but distinguishable from the Terellia tussilaginis that I saw on burdock (Arctium sp.) last year.

Last year I saw one of these flies on yarrow (Achillea millefolium) but, at the time, conjectured that it had just been blown off some nearby thistles.  Well, the above fly was in the same area so it seems more likely that last year's fly was blown off the knapweed onto the yarrow.

A few weeks ago I saw another species of gall fly, Urophora jaceana, on knapweed, but that was over in the Wilderness, quite a way away.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2010-07-04.

Saturday
Jul102010

Scarlet Tiger Moth

I was walking up from the town with my shopping last Saturday morning when I noticed this rather splendid moth on the path.  I bent down and took it up on my finger, where it stayed all the rest of the way home.  I set it down on our living room window where I took a few photos before releasing it through the window.

It is a scarlet tiger moth, Callimorpha dominula (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae).  This species is common in south-west England and Wales but must be near the edge of its range here in Reading.

Photos taken in Reading, UK, on 2010-07-03.