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.


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 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