Wednesday 22 April 2020

Insects enjoying the sunshine

We've had lots of sunshine recently (after a very wet winter, we're having a very dry spring and need some of those traditional April showers!). The insects are enjoying the weather though. On our #DailyExercise walk a couple of days ago, we were delighted to find this ten spot ladybird in one of the cemeteries

The ten spot is a very varied species (so varied it doesn't even always have ten spots!) you can see how many forms there are of the one species here.

We've also seen these tiny little Nomada bees in the park (I don't know what species they are, if you know, please feel free to let me know in the comments). Edited to add: I think these are Marshem's Nomad bees (Nomada marshamella) as the description fits and this species is known to occur in Edinburgh and known to parasitise Andrena species of bees including Andrena scotica, the chocloate mining bee that also occurs in the park (and which I've blogged about in recent posts).

There are sometimes lots of hoverflies about, this is a marmalade hover fly, the most common species in the UK and generally quite easy to identify with its pretty stripes (though there is also a dark form that is confusing to find!)

I post all my hoverfly sightings in the UK Hoverfly Facebook group and they then get identified (if I can't do that myself), verified (where I have been able to identify, I'm not always right about it, still learning!) and then recorded.

North Merchiston Cemetery seems to be very popular with butterflies, here's another peacock

and another tortoiseshell

What interesting insects are you seeing in your garden or on your #DailyExercise route?

For Nature Notes


The UK Government is, at the moment, allowing us out for one form of #DailyExercise once a day in addition to visiting the shops (as infrequently as possible), travelling to work (for those with essential jobs that can't be done from home) and medical emergencies including helping those who are self isolating. In England, the police advice is that you can drive to a location before walking or jogging as long as you spend more time exercising than driving, the advice from Police Scotland however, seems to be that you should not drive to a location to exercise and should only exercise very locally.


eileeninmd said...


Sunshine is always a welcome sight. I love the ladybug and butterflies.
I just saw some bees around our blueberry bushes. Take care, enjoy your day!

Rambling Woods said...

I saw some early bees and now a week of cold..Michelle

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Nomad cuckoo bee?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Eileen, thanks, you enjoy your day too!

Hi Michelle, hope it warms up soon

Hi Simon, yes, but there's more than one species of Nomad cuckoo bees.... (or at least I've heard that used as the group name rather than a species name)

betty-NZ said...

What fabulous little creatures! You captured them well :)

Feel free to share at My Corner of the World

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Hello, I'm popping over from Nature Notes. Here in Canada it has been a cold and windy April so far. Our dandelions are ready to pop up yet. Hope you are doing well.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Because I am in the 'shielded' group I'm not even going out for the 'one form of exercise a day' walk. And my house is unnervingly insect-free. The other day I found a live spider amongst a pile of papers but it hurried away and disappeared before I had returned with a glass in which to carry it outdoors. Occasionally a fruit fly appears from nowhere and hangs in the air near the vegetable rack. These are the heights of my insect-spotting days! (I miss hoverflies.)

David said...

I think your Nomada us N goodeniana. The yellow bands on the abdomen are unbroken, except for the first. In Steven Falk's book that pattern most resembles N goodeniana.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks Betty and Linda.

Hi Lucy, that must be difficult. We have a tiny little wasp living on our amarylis and a tiny weevil in our bathroom. The occasional spider appears,

Thanks David, it's useful to get a probably better species id, I was just going on likely species, which is tricky as I don't know much about solitary bees.