Thursday, 1 June 2017

Early Summer Insects

These pictures all come from a walk we took yesterday on Sonachan land and show what a huge variety of insects are suddenly appearing now that the weather has turned warm, and particularly once the sun comes out. This pile of faeces, with its attendant dor beetle, which feeds on dung, was on the edge of the woods near the hotel. The dung may be pine marten.

Nearby was this common sexton beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides, an insect which is named for its role in disposing of carrion by burying it and then laying eggs so its larvae have a food supply, but....

....when it started performing acrobatics it revealed that it had several passengers. These are probably mites which feed on fly eggs and maggots so, far from being a burden, they're advantageous to the sexton beetle in that they ensure that more food is preserved for its young.

This large chrysalis was hanging off a dead heather bush. I have searched the internet to try to identify it, without success.

This little gem of a butterfly - it's little more than a centimetre from its nose to the rear of its wing - is a green hairstreak. It was on the gravelly surface of the track that leads to the Achosnich school house, tilted over so it could soak up the sun.

On the same section of track, and also enjoying the sun, were several of these green tiger beetles which, when disturbed, took off and flew a few metres down the path before settling again.

A short distance further on, the track crosses the Sruthan Bhraigh nan Allt, where the first of the year's damselflies were active along its banks. This is a large red but the most spectacular sight of the day was....

....this very appropriately named beautiful demoiselle.


  1. I suspect it is the cocoon of an emperor moth, heather being its food plant.

  2. The dragonfly is beautiful, probably my favorite! Though the green tiger beetle is such a gorgeous shade of green, he comes in second.