Thursday, May 11, 2017

Skye - Lord of the Flies

Made a small dent into the world of diptera today, after taking a mere 45 years to identify my first ever Gymnocheta viridis last week, today I saw three together, followed by a coupla singletons and then a pair! 

Gymnocheta viridis - one very smart Tachinid indeed
Also sunning themselves on a tree trunk were two of these beauties

Mesembrina meridiana - has the largest maggot of the dung community apparently!
I nipped into the local shop for lunch and found this fella watching me as I blitzed my way through a Mars bar/Red Bull combo. Coz no, I'm not sweet enough already...

Rhagio scolopaceus, known as the Downlooker Snipe Fly
Back in the woods again I realised my camera lens was dirty (hence the less-than-sharp pics above) which was a tad annoying seeing as this Lucilia let me shove the camera pretty much up it's nose

Lucilia sp - it's not L.caesar, but that's about all I can say from this pic.
Moving onto scary beasts, a large wasp zoomed past me at knee level, I gave chase and caught it in my net. Then the fun started! Eventually it was in a pot (and then on a pin) wherupon I could confirm it as my first ever Red Wasp Vespula rufa. Soon after I potted up a Common Carder Bee (to rule out a local lookalike) and had the same issue all over again. Meh, I'm not a huge fan of things that can sting me.

I feel pretty bad for taking a queen, though I suppose I've reduced my chances of being stung later this summer.
Last notable addition came to me courtesy of Ali. Following his lead I swept a load of nettles and eventually struck gold with a net full of small, hump-backed weevils. I knocked a few out in the jar to microscopically check various features but let them go afterwards once the identity was confirmed

Nedyus quadrimaculatus - mega cute and a lifer for me!
Additions since the last update are

556 - Common Figwort (plant)
557 - Mesembrina meridiana (fly)
558 - Gastrophysa viridula (beetle)
559 - Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis (microlep - larva)
560 - Sedge Warbler (bird)
561 - Red Wasp Vespula rufa (aculeate) - Lifer
562 - Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum (aculeate)
563 - Nedyus quadrimaculatus (beetle) - Lifer
564 - Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus (fly)
565 - Ramularia didyma (microfungus on buttercup)
566 - Phragmidium mucronatum (microfungus on Dog-rose)
567 - Eristalis pertinax (hoverfly missed off from earlier)
568 - Bibio marci (fly)


  1. Nice selection of flies. Never seen Red Wasp, must keep an eye out for that, looks impressive. I wonder if that's Melanelixia fuliginosa in the M.meridiana photo? Could be worth another look if it's not on your list.

    1. It's not on my list, and I know the tree in question. I shall investigate, many thanks for the prompt!

  2. Summer is kicking in at last! Mesembrina is a cracking fly - still remember the first time I saw its gold feet and being chuffed there was a fly i could "do".

  3. Incidentally I was introduced to the Nedyus by Rob Wallace a few years back, so becoming a PSLer's species!

  4. I know Rob, met him at the Chiddingfold/Thursley PSL weekend a few years back. Quiet but seems to know his stuff.

    1. Whereabouts is Rob nowadays? I recall that he was somewhere in the top end of Scotland (east coast maybe?) and I was impressed that he'd journeyed down to Surrey for the PSL bash.

  5. Rob is Mr.World Tourer these days. He moved to Edinburgh and was up here for a while (in a curious coincidence working for the same company as our ex county moth recorder). Then after piling up some cash him and his other half headed off round the world. He's in Borneo now! So Surrey ... not so far :D