Monday 17 July 2017

Time to Count Butterflies!

The Big Butterfly Count is now underway in the UK! It's an opportunity to get outdoors and look for these beautiful insects and at the same time help conservationists assess how the butterflies are faring!

Today was a lovely day for a walk through Colinton and Craiglockart Dells for my weekly patrol of the Water of Leith there. I kept my eyes open for butterflies and saw one red admiral, two small whites and this lovely comma:

This was my first comma of the year and was very obliging in terms of allowing me to take photos.

I was also delighted to see this Myathropa florea hoverfly, click on the photo to enlarge it to see the full detail of the patterning

As many readers of this blog will know, I've been increasingly interested in hoverflies in the last couple of years and have learned to recognise several species. The Myathropa florea is one that I could recognise when I saw it today but I needed to look it up to remember it's name. However when I saw the hoverfly below I immediately rhought 'oh it's a Syrphus sp!'

I sent both photos off to the UK Hoverflies Group on Facebook only to be told that this is not a Syrphus sp, but a Epistrophe grossulariae. I've made this mistake before and have asked for expert clarification on how to tell the difference! Hoverflies are beautiful insects and many of them are relatively easy to find and identify with some degree of confidence but there's still a fair amount of room for confusion! 

Have you seen any interesting insects recently? 

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


eileeninmd said...

Beautiful butterflies and images. I have been waiting for my first Monarch sighting, non yet. I like looking for the dragonflies and butterflies more than insects. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

Jamie Purves said...

Never been able to identify the hoverflies! I need a decent guide!. Saw a Humming-bird Hawkmoth on the Coast path near Portscatho at the weekend. Brilliant insect, wings just-a-blur, they fly all the way from France.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Jamie, there are a couple of good websites for hoverflies, I've listed them in the wildlife identification page on this blog, which you can access via the sidebar. I once saw a hummingbird hawkmoth in the centre of Edinburgh.

Eileen - hope you see your first monarch soon!

RG said...

I see a comma here now and again - not often. I like it's design and colors! Many big yellow swallowtails!

sage said...

You always have your eyes open for the smallest things of beauty.

Jenn Jilks said...

We have so many this year!
My fave tree, here, is the Catalpa!