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.

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Oaken Wood, 28/05/11 - update

Just had it confirmed that the Cricket nymph I photographed was a Roesel's Bush-cricket which is a first for me.

Roesel's Bush-cricket Metrioptera roeselii

Bee Hotel Update, Silsden 10/06/11

As of 10th June the Red Mason Bees Osmia rufa have completed 14 tubes.

Oaken Wood, 28/05/11

Here are a few pics of my trip down to Oaken Wood (Grid Ref SU9933) on the Surrey/Sussex border from a couple of weeks ago. Although it was cloudy, this site never fails to deliver.

Glow-worm larva Lampyris noctiluca

 Long-horned Bee Eucera longicornis

 White-legged Damselfly Platycnemis pennipes

 Wood White butterfly Leptidea sinapis

 Nemophora degeerella

Hotel Residents

The Red Mason Bees Osmia rufa have been busy over the past month collecting pollen and creating cells for their eggs. Here's a female coming back with mud to seal one of the tubes. - Update: following comments I've amended the title of the 2nd pic.

Osmia rufa female

Colletes male (perhaps C.daviesanus)

Bee Hotel, Front Garden, 29/04/11

I purchased some Red Mason Bee tubes about three weeks ago, despite never having recorded a tube nesting bee in my garden before, then made a rather rustic 'bee hotel' to put them in. I placed it in my front garden, south facing as suggested and kept an eye on it over the past couple of weeks, half expecting that it would be taken over by spiders or even not being occupied at all. This morning I casually glanced at it and noticed that a couple of the tubes appeared to be blocked...so I took a closer look and, much to my surprise, I saw three little faces looking back at me.

Bee Hotel

The occupants - Osmia rufa
Male = pale face Female = dark face

Prince of Wales Park, Eldwick, 17/04/11

I headed back to the park to try and find Green Hairstreak butterflies but they're still not out here yet. However, I did manage to see both Andrena fulva and A. cineraria and another of their cleptoparasites, another Nomada bee, presumably N. goodeniana.

Nomada sp (presumably N.goodeniana)

Timble Ings, 16/04/11

I went to Timble to see if any damselflies had emerged but only saw several Peacock, Comma and Orange Tip butteflies. Walking back to the car I heard a rustle in the undergrowth and to my surprise a couple of small Common or Viviparous Lizards appeared. The scientific name was Lacerta vivipara but it's recently been changed to Zootoca vivipara.

Common or Viviparous Lizard



Back out in the field at last. I went to see what was taking advantage of the unseasonal warm , sunny weather and managed to see a few Andrena fulva and one of their cleptoparasites, a Nomada bee, presumably N.flava but confirmation by photograph is not always possible. The female A.fulva had just deposited a pollen ball in it's underground nest. The micro moth, Eriocrania subpurpurella, was also about in small numbers.

Andrena fulva


Nomada sp. (presumably N.flava)


Eriocrania subpurpurella