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.