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  #2596  
Old 28th May 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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  #2597  
Old 29th May 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

A spider at home

There were a lot of these about on the Drigg nature reserve



At home by Alf Branch, on Flickr
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  #2598  
Old 30th May 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Greater Thorn-tipped Long-horn Beetle

I only got a brief look at its antennae before trying to take photos. When I saw them my reaction was “long-horn beetle”. Looking at the size of it (antenna spread is ca 15mm) this seemed unlikely, thinking it must be a bug. It is a Long-horn Beetle Pogonocherus hispidulus, widespread but rarely seen in daytime. The larvae develop in dead twigs of deciduous trees, such as apple or Holly, or in Ivy. I don’t think there is much dead Holly in my garden but the others are abundant. Longhorns are around from late spring. I found this a week ago.

Before I could get shots of the insect with its antennae spread wide apart the following happened. It played dead when I got close, not so much dropping off the leaf but hurling itself onto a nearby one. I think the images speak for themselves.

The two thorn-like projections on its rear end give the beetle its name.

There is a similar species, the Pine Long-horn Beetle, which prefers confers and (in the UK) is confines to Scotland. It does not have those spines.

The stereos are crosseye. The second one is a fun item.

I have uploaded the last image first. (It's a bit soft but shows the recognition characters of the species).

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f11 (first f13), hand-held.

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  #2599  
Old 2nd June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Some more recemt shots


I would not have seen this pair of mating robber flies if they had not caprure this butterfly as it passed. I think this is a pair of fan bristled robberflies.



Robber flies by Alf Branch, on Flickr


A moth



A moth by Alf Branch, on Flickr


An Ichneumnid wasp that landed on the washing on the line and it was windy



Ichneumonid wasp 1 by Alf Branch, on Flickr


Ichneumonid wasp 2 by Alf Branch, on Flickr
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  #2600  
Old 3rd June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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I would not have seen this pair of mating robber flies if they had not caprure this butterfly as it passed. I think this is a pair of fan bristled robberflies.
Downland RF?

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  #2601  
Old 3rd June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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I would not have seen this pair of mating robber flies if they had not caprure this butterfly as it passed. I think this is a pair of fan bristled robberflies.

Robber flies by Alf Branch, on Flickr
Excellent spot and shot. Shame for the Common Blue, lets hope he had mated himself before this end.
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  #2602  
Old 3rd June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Downland RF?

Harold

Harold
I am not convinced on that too early too far north and wrong habitat from what I have read.

The habitat is sand dunes and the timing is good for my ID and the distribution shows as correct.


As you know I am no expert.
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  #2603  
Old 7th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Jumping Spider Salticus scenicus Female

I see these occasionally in our garden. Mostly they are found on exterior walls of our house, in the sun. Sometimes they are on the leaves of garden plants. In spite of many attempts. I never obtained good images, if any at all. The spiders were too active.

This was quite different. This individual was one a coin-shaped swollen leaf of a succulent Crassula plant in a greenhouse. Also, it seemed unaware of my presence and gave me several opportunities for close-ups.

The images have been variously, moderately, cropped.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f10 or f11, hand-held.

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  #2604  
Old 7th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

That Jumper did see you Harold you can tell in the third shot
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Old 7th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Here is a crab spider from the 10 minute macro safari I managed today before the rain interrupted me.


Crab spider with prey 1 by Alf Branch, on Flickr


Crab spider with prey 2 by Alf Branch, on Flickr


Crab spider with prey 3 by Alf Branch, on Flickr
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  #2606  
Old 8th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Brown Scale Parthenolecanium corni on Vine

Our grape vine is at least 30 years old and this is the first time I have seen scale insects on it. The species of scale is commonly found on wood plants in gardens.

Some of these images show ants in attendance. I was completely puzzled by the second image, until I viewed a stereo pair, when I could make out the posteriors of two ants facing away from us and facing the scale.

The whole range of sizes of the scales in shown in these images. The stereos are crosseye.

The ant in the last image is strangely pale but it is not a lighting effect.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f10 or f11, hand-held.

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  #2607  
Old 8th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

I love these two images, lovely behaviour very clearly seen. One day I'll get into stereos as I can imagine they give some real added insights.

My grape is usually good for some interesting insects, might be the quality of the sap I guess. But they don't do any harm.

I just wish the birds took more interest in the grapes and less in my cherries.

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Old 8th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Thanks, Peter.

At our previous house we used to have Blackbirds fly in and out of our semi-enclosed veranda to take the grapes.

We thought birds were taking our cherries each year until I recently saw a squirrel jumping off the tree. The tree is isolated, so it wasn't just passing through.

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Old 8th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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We thought birds were taking our cherries each year until I recently saw a squirrel jumping off the tree. The tree is isolated, so it wasn't just passing through.

Harold
Harold

Sadly I have watched the fat pigeon nearly breaking the branch (its only a young tree) to gorge itself, I hate pigeons more than squirrels.

The blackbirds seem to enjoy the blue mahonia berries more than grapes. Never tried the mahonia but it looks very blue, which I assume is a warning.

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Old 8th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Peter,

Recipes for Mahonia berries:

http://www.eattheweeds.com/mahonia-melange/

We saw a fox chasing a squirrel around our garden this morning.

Harold
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