Monday 29 September 2014

A fly for a sunny day

A pretty sight on a September day! This hoverfly is known as the sun fly (helophilus pendulus).

It spent some time feeding from the Michaelmas daisies. They are at their peak this week so the sun flies are probably happy.

Their larvae are some of the "long tailed" maggots that are found in very wet situations - marshy ground, wet compost heaps or buckets of water with rotting vegetation inside. Leave some around if you want more of these pollinators.

Saturday 27 September 2014

An invader!

It's another bug but this one is an American! The western conifer seed bug, leptoglossus occidentalis, arrived in Europe in 1999 and immigrants have been reported on the south coast of England since 2008. This one is the first recorded in this part of Sussex. Apparently they live on pines and there are lots of those in Heath Common, where I found it.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Box bug

I've seen a couple of these in the garden in the last few days. I love its latin name - gonocerus acuteangulatus. I've seen that described as a perfect example of "Harry Potter" latin.
It was named the box bug because it was originally known only on Box Hill in Surrey, feeding on box trees. It is now known on other hosts and probably comes from the yew tree in my garden.

Where do I Walk?

Mainly around the National Trust land at Washington Common and Warren Hill in West Sussex. I also spend some time around my old Steyning walks and other interesting places in West Sussex.