Monday 22 June 2020

National Insect Week

During Lockdown, we've walked round two local cemeteries almost every day. We've really come to appreciate what wildlife havens these graveyards are! Particularly for insect life. There are 20 or more species of hoverflies in the two cemeteries including the pellucid hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) which is particularly common just at the moment, it also has the advantage of being relatively easy to identify!
You can read more about the hoverflies in the cemeteries in this recent post.
At the moment, the bramble patch in Dalry cemetery is full of bees including tree bumblebees (below),

there are also buff tailed and white tailed bumblebees, common carder bees, and the occasional red tailed bumble bee and solitary bees. This is particularly good to see as bees are really in trouble these days and need all the good quality habitat they can get.
There are butterflies too, including speckled wood butterflies, which are becoming more common in Edinburgh these days as they are one of the few species to be benefiting from climate chaos as warming temperatures are allowing them to move north.
The most amazing insect we've seen in the cemeteries though is one that has finished its season now so is rarely seen at the moment, but a few weeks ago was present in the hundreds in North Merchiston Cemetery. It's the green longhorn moth, which we had never seen before lockdown, it's incredibly beautiful too, specially when gathering in large numbers to dance.
Just near Dalry Cemetery is Gorgie Dalry Community Park, where early in lockdown we discovered a real drama among the solitary bees and bee flies, which you can read about in this post here.
So, there's lots to celebrate in our local patch for National Insect Week, which encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects. The week is organised by the Royal Entomological Society, supported by partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects.

This year we are being encouraged to appreciate the ‘little things that run the world’ by doing some entomology at home. ideas for activities include:

Take a photo and enter the photography competition,

find out more about insects using the discover insect pages or the learning resources such as the Garden Entomology booklet to find out what kind of insect you have found.

Help scientists understand more by making a biological record of what species of insect you've seen and where and when you saw it. 

If you want to get creative you could create an artwork inspired by insects and contribute to the Insect Isles project.

Now is the ideal time to sign up to become an Insect Champion with People's Trust for Endangered Species!

For National Insect Week, Nature Notes and 30 Days Wild.


A Cuban In London said...

I didn't know it was Insect Week. :-) There's a cemetery park near where I live and my girlfriend and I go there very often. It's insect heaven! :-)

Greetings from London.

Karen said...

Really nice macro shots!

Lowcarb team member said...

I didn't know it was National Insect Week!
But I do now!

Great photographs.

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

It is good to see the bees doing well. I love the butterfly. I did not know about insect week. Thanks for sharing the links. Have a great day!

NatureFootstep said...

we could use such a week in Sweden too. Not many insects at all nowadays. So sad! :(

Rambling Woods said...

I am trying to look at the insects and was thrilled to see an actual firefly..there is always something to see..

Crafty Green Poet said...

NatureFootstep - our insects are definitely declining here, but there are still places where you can see good numbers.

Rambling Woods, it's lovely to see fireflies! And you're right there's always something to see