Monday, April 23, 2018

Dalgety Bay - Fannia by gaslight

A very busy weekend with family activities, off-square naturebothering and grass cutting, but I did manage to squeeze in enough time to stay on track. A lovely Streamer was new for me (Satellite added same day)

Fannia mollissima is a very common fly here at this time of year. At least it was last year. Its abdominal shape is distinctive, though not absolutely unique.

Fannia mollissima

In January I grabbed a couple of teaspoonfuls of putrified grass clippings from my garden rubbish bin. It was heaving with larvae. A lot of Fannia were present. I checked the jar in the garage which had now started buzzing. Inside I found about 10 Fannia scalaris. The male here with its curious leg "processes". Apart from one other fly I already took from this collection there were a couple of smaller ones I didn't do.

I found some Few-flowered Garlic, which was new to me - an amazingly large patch of it in flower which I had somehow contrived to not notice before, and also some Green Alkanet - another common species I'd never run into. So all in all still on target for 667 by month end, and with the weather distinctly better no reason why not (famous last words...)

(edit note: my Cream-spot Ladybirds were redetermined to Orange Ladybird by someone who knows better. New species to me, so a nice surprise and a reminder to double check things you think are obvious!)

633 diptera Syrphus torvus A hoverfly
634 flowering plant Ligusticum scoticum  Scottish Lovage
635 diptera Helina evecta A muscid fly
636 hymenoptera Bombus hortorum Garden Bumblee
637 diptera Fannia mollissima A lesser house fly
638 diptera Sepsis punctum A sepsid fly
639 lep-moth Eupsilia transversa Satellite
640 * lep-moth Anticlea derivata Streamer
641 * flowering plant Pentaglottis sempervirens Green Alkanet
642 * flowering plant Allium paradoxum Few-flowered Garlic
643 mammal Capreolus capreolus Roe Deer
644 bird Phylloscopus trochila Willow Warbler
645 * diptera Fannia scalaris A lesser house fly
646 flowering plant Cochlearia danica Danish Scurvy-grass


  1. Yes, Streamers are great moths, one of my favourites. Don't seem to see Fannias much round here, not sure if I'm missing them, but don't think so. Literally hundreds of anthomyiids though, although not much variety at the moment.

    Pallid Harrier a few hundreds yards off patch this morning!

    1. I am going to be jealous may times this year of your being in Norfolk! i'd need to check if I've had one in UK, though I've seen them in Turkey. I may actually have seen one in Norfolk!

  2. Have had Bittern, Gropper and Pallid Harrier just outside the 1 km square boundary this week!