Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nature Notes: Wasteland Animals

Last week, I showed you all the different wildflowers I found at a wasteland created by a construction site. This week, I want to show you the animals I found there.
a seven spot ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)

a small bee species, I think Halictus tumulorum

a grasshopper, one of a huge variety - they were hard to photograph because they would jump away before I got close enough

Bombus lapidarius, the Red-tailed bumblebee

Bombus pratorum, the Early bumblebee

Bombus terrestris, the Large Earth bumblebee - all the bumblebee species were busy collecting pollen, especially from various thistles and from Black Medic. If you want to make your garden bumblebee friendly, plant thistles (they really are beautiful flowers) and let the clover flowers grow instead of mowing the grass, especially in the late summer.

a female redstart, but I can't tell whether is a Common or Black redstart - in any case, there is a whole family there, I've seen them every time I've been back there

and something I had never seen before:
A European Beewolf (Philantus triangulum) - it's a wasp species and the females will prey on bees, paralyse them and store them in a brood chamber as food for their larvae. Each larva will be supplied with several bees.
This one is a male, though, and he is only in search of pollen and nectar (the female feeds on those as well). The females have hairs on their front legs for digging which the males are missing. Take a look at the ocelli on his forehead, the simple eyes many invertebrates have in addition to their two compound eyes, and at the little crown-shaped mark between the antennae - it's unique for each individual.

Natures Notes is hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

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