An irregular blog of photos taken by me of insects and other natural history subjects on my travels around Yorkshire, Britain and Europe. Hopefully you'll find them useful in putting a name to your own specimens but always check your identifications with an expert.


Timble Ings - Sunday 21/09/08 part 4

I took this pic on Sunday of a recently emerged leaf beetle, Chrysomela aenea, on an Alder. It's larval skin can be seen next to it. It will change from purple to green as it matures.

Timble Ings - Sunday 21/09/08 part 3

These are the best 'in-flight' pics out of 250 or so I took of various pairs of Black Darters either flying in tandem or ovipositing. I now need to master the shutter speed on my D50 to get the wings in focus too.

Timble Ings - Sunday 21/09/08 part 2

I only managed to see four butterflies in total, two Speckled Woods, a Small Copper and a Wall.

Small Copper
Small Copper
Speckled Wood
Wall (underwing)

Well, a nice weekend at last. Managed to get up to Timble Ings today to see what's still about.
Here's some shots of Common Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus.

Shipley Station Meadow - Part 2

Here's a hoverfly that I couldn't identify. It's a female Syrphus sp. and one of three look-a-like species. Telling apart Syrphus torvus, S. ribesii and S. vitripennis can be troublesome at times but not always impossible. Syrphus torvus, for instance is the only one that has hairy eyes. This is quite visible in males, females are less obvious, so you probably have to catch them and look into their eyes from various angles. The other two Syrphus species are hard to tell apart, especially the males. For females there is a clue though: if the thighs are blackish it is Syrphus vitripennis, the smallest of the three. If the thighs are yellow it is Syrphus ribesii, the biggest of the three. Unfortunately although I took six photos of this hoverfly, none showed the rear femur, so I don't know if it was black or yellow. The larvae of all species feed on aphids.

Shipley Station Meadow

I popped down to Shipley Station Meadow today. It's probably one of the smallest nature reserves anywhere in the country. It's part of Shipley railway station and not much bigger than my house and garden. The females of the colony of Common Blue butterflies show more blue colouration than most other Yorkshire specimens. Unfortunately, I only managed to find one today but took almost 200 pics of her.....thank heavens for digital cameras.

There were also some hoverflies enjoying the sunshine, this one is the Drone Fly or Eristalis tenax.

This one is a Marmalade Fly Episyrphus balteatus.

I also managed to find this moth, Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa, sunning itself on a Hypericum.

Rodley Nature Reserve

I also popped into Rodley NR today to see how the dragonfly ponds were progressing. The 'phase one' ponds are maturing nicely but work on the 'phase two' pools has been delayed due to the awful weather we've had this summer.

Here's a pic of a female Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis ovipositing in one of the established ponds.

This Drone Fly Eristalis tenax was one of several hoverfly species I saw close to the ponds. The aquatic larvae of this fly are called 'rat-tailed maggots'.

Shipley Station Meadow

Went to Shipley Station Meadow today to check out the rabbit damage and see what pics I could get despite the overcast conditions. I managed to find a couple of preoccupied Conopid flies. These flies parasitize bumblebees.

Northern Coleopterists Meeting

The Northern Coleopterists Meeting will take place on Saturday, 27th September 2008 from 10:00am to 16.30pm at Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL.

10:00 - TEA/COFFEE
10:25 - Introduction - Tom Hubball
10:30 - Manchester Museum: Collections and Records – Dmitri Logunov
11.00 - Beetles Associated with Lundy Cabbage – Roger Key *Updated*
11:45 - Why We Need More Work in the Lake District:
The Last Stronghold of Hydroporus rufifrons – Garth Foster
12:30 - LUNCH (Please note that lunch is not provided)
13:30 - Buglife and Beetle Conservation - Matt Shardlow or Jamie Roberts
14:15 - Water Beetle Recording and Conservation in Yorkshire – Martin Hammond
14:30 - Preparing, Setting and Mounting Specimens – Don Stenhouse
15:15 - Informal discussions, viewing exhibits and identification of specimens.
16:30 - END

Please bring along any exhibits for discussion or set specimens for identification (unfortunately due to time constraints we will be unable to try to identify any un-set specimens).
The Entomology Departments library and collections will be available to view and some microscopes will also be available but please feel free to bring your own.
Please note that lunch is not provided. However the museum has it's own cafe and there are a variety of fast food restaurants in the vicinity. As food and drink may not be consumed in the Entomology Dept, a room is provided for anyone bringing a packed lunch.
The nearest car park to the museum is Booth Street West. This is open from 6am-midnight
For directions, see
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact myself or Dmitri on the phone numbers/email addresses below.
See you there.

Tom Hubball01535 678334 (after 6pm) - email
Dmitri Logunov, Manchester Museum 0161 275 2666 -email

Comma larva

On my visit to Chambers Farm Wood I also managed to find the caterpillar of a Comma (Polygonia c-album) on the underside of a leaf.

Comma larva

Dark Bush-crickets

Went to Chambers Farm Wood, Lincs, grid ref: TF149739 yesterday and managed to get a few pics of Dark Bush-crickets (Pholidoptera griseoaptera) despite the overcast conditions.

Dark Bush-cricket - male
Dark Bush-cricket - female

Dark Bush-cricket - another male
Dark Bush-Cricket - underside

Welcome to my world

Welcome to my Blog.

I will be using this site to post pics taken by me on my travels around Yorkshire, Britain and Europe.
The pics will mainly consist of insects and other natural history images. Hopefully you'll find some of them useful in identifying your own specimens but always check your identifications with an 'expert' find one, try your local natural history society, county museum or even log onto Yahoogroups at