Friday, February 22, 2013

TQ6410 - Bits and pieces ......

A few extra bits and bobs from earlier this week plus a few things flying/crawling around one of the wild flower banks back on a sunnier and much warmer Monday/Tuesday afternoon when spring came and went again. Taken me a while to ID them but have been confined to the cottage here for a couple of days. So I've shamelessly added ......

247 -  Bumble Bee Mite  Parasitellus talparum  
248 -  Stalked Puffball  Calvatia excipuliformis 
249 -  Lace-weaver Spider Amaurobius similis (after much deliberation)

The first two thanks to Rich B, Mark T and James E's in-depth knowledge and ID advice via my previous post. And thanks also to Matt P for coming up with an ID for the spider(s). Here's another angle on it ..... not a great one I'm afraid. 

So something spectacular for the 250th species perhaps? First Clouded Yellow of the year maybe? Short-eared Owl or two from two squares away? Long-eared Bat out of hibernation Hell in the barn? Or how about .....     



250 - House Fly  Phaonia valida  !!!

Oh well, bit of an anti-climax .....

251 - Green Bottle Fly  Phaenicia sericata 

252 - Common Drone Fly (left)  Eristalis tenax

253 - Red Ant  Myrmica rubra





But is this another Common Drone Fly Eristalis tenax (as above) or is it possibly Eristalis horticola? 

The markings can be very variable on both apparently .....

I need to get a close up lens for the Lumix and acquire some photography skills....




And this one was also with the Drone Flies above, enjoying a brief glimpse of Spring and hovering over the few remaining Winter Heliotrope flowers ....

254 Marmalade Hoverfly  Episyrphus balteatus

255 - Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata

Lots of these racing around the wildflower bank in the sun on Monday/Tuesday ..... and Wednesday come to think of it. And I always thought wolf spiders were those big ones in webs in the out-house or some corner of the garden waiting to pounce on you ...... or me!

256. Common Field Speedwell  - Veronica persica

Loads of these springing up in my plant pots (as weeds) at the moment although this one was photo'd in the arable field by the Church on Monday where I thought I found some early signs of Mayweed (but which one?) and Scarlet Pimpernel. Worth checking last year's crop fields soon .....

Unspectacularly on to 256 species but now marooned in Ashdown Forest for a few days.


  1. Sorry mike but I have to inject a note of caution for the spider id's - neither of those two is a solid identification without confirmation by sexual characters, and in the case of pardosa amentata at this time of the year only 0.5% are mature. (Bizarrely 0.5% is an exact figure from the SRS, which I happened to be looking at earlier)

  2. OK thanks Matt - I went for A.similis because all the websites suggested it was the indoor species of the two (and this one was on the workshop's concrete floor next to the barn) .... but happy to take it off the list until I can acquire a cheapo USB microscopic thingy or find my piddly x10 lens again. Andy - please demote me to 255 species immediatement dammit!

  3. Having noticed Mark's comment on your previous entry, he is correct that the latin name now used for your puffball is Handkea excipuliformis rather than Calvatia. There have been loads of re-classifications and re-namings since I first started learning fungus names, although I'm yet to find definitive proof to support my idea that mycologists are doing it specifically to annoy me.

  4. Thanks James - have noticed that too - will amend it ...... I just wish my four year's worth of latin lessons at school several decades ago had included just one botanical or fungal reference, maybe even a lichen or two, perhaps something avian, mammal or butterfly-related. Instead all we got was Civis Romanus Sum and something about a bloody farmer (agricola?) plus the usual amo, amas, amat etc. Who knows, I might have gone on to do biology or, better still - botany - and ended up re-writing Flora Britannica or something just to really annoy EVERYONE!