Thursday, 5 May 2011

A huge antennae and proboscis day

I put the moth out on Tuesday night, knowing it was going to get cold but not as bad as it was, with a frost and the minimum temperature dropping down to minus 1.1C. So it was surprising to find a moth in it, just a Shuttle-shaped Dart, but obviously a tough lad. Spent the rest of yesterday and today mainly in the garden, often looking upwards but apart from a Sparrowhawk a couple of times nothing of interest flew over. 5 species of butterflies did visit the garden, Small & Large White, Orange tip, Peacock and a Wall Brown. I had a very brief check of the Riverside Park after walking down to the town centre on an errand and just managed to see a Common Sandpiper flying down river. The 99th species of bird I seen this year on my OFFH (On Foot from House) list.
Today was much the same, except all of it in the garden, It was a bit milder overnight but decided not to run the moth trap. On my hands and knees weeding I came face to face with a tiny longhorn moth with big white antennae and metallic bronze wings - Adela reaumurella. This was new for the garden as well as for the year. It is common enough on the fell where the caterpillar lives on leaf litter (what I was tidying up),  so I wonder if I have missed it and it actually lives in the garden? I watched it for some time as it flitted from leaf to leaf waving it huge antennae about. Then I crept away for my camera but I could never find it again.
Wandering around in the garden with the camera I now had ready but no moth, I took a few more pictures of Bee-fly that are still about all over the garden, I've never had this many before. Now this fly is well known for its very long proboscis that looks like a a scary looking spike. All the photos I've have  both taken and seen show it ending in a sharp point. However looking through today's photos, in one it looks forked. It's certainly the same species Bombylius major with the dark leading edge to the wing. I looked on web a bit more and couldn't find any that looked like that but then came across some photos of mounted specimens of several species including our common Bee-fly, and several of them show a fork. Mystery sort of solved but only sort of. More investigation required.

Bee Fly talks with forked tongue

1 comment:

  1. Be Fly is one species that still eludes me, Keith. Perhaps they`re not that common in South Yorks.