Friday, 10 July 2015

Insects: Rare and Not-so-Rare

Capturing good pictures of very small insects, particularly on a damp and grey day like today, is very hit-and-miss, but it can produce some interesting results. This is a green lacewing but, since there are something like 14 species of green lacewing, that's as far as identification can go.  It's little more than 10mm long and, wisely, was taking shelter under a leaf.

This - if you can see it - isn't a rare species, it's just immensely frustrating to photograph. We've frequently seen a very pretty butterfly with brown wings and bright orange and black markings fluttering round, which suddenly disappears. This is because the grayling is a master of camouflage: once it has settled and furled his wings, it's difficult to find. One day I'll get a picture of the open tops of a grayling's wings.

This is the two-banded longhorn beetle, Rhagium bifasciatum. At 20mm in length, it's quite large and, when found, was wandering around on one of the paving slabs in our back garden.  It's not an unusual beetle, and has a wide distribution across Britain - but it's the first time we've noticed it here. The species should be very much at home on Ardnamurchan as the female lays her eggs in tunnels bored into coniferous trees.

This is the stunningly pretty little beetle Cryptocephalus aureolus. That, despite its beauty, it doesn't have a common name suggested straight away that our chance encounter at Sanna had yielded something slightly special. While it is fairly widespread though not common in the southern part of Britain, it's much rarer in Scotland.

1 comment:

  1. Superb, Jon. Some butterflies just don't open up for the camera. The Grayling is worse even than the modest Meadow Brown when it comes to saying 'cheese'.