Hover craft

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 8 May 2014 08:14

I stumbled across an area at Woods Mill that has been recently coppiced that I am ashamed to say I hadn't noticed until yesterday. I was instantly struck by how much Bugle was flowering in these small scallops and before you know it my lunch time walk had turned into an hour and a half and I hadn't moved more than half a mile! There were LOTS of invertebrates but this time hoverflies made up the vast majority of the numbers. By far the most abundant species was the above Rhingia campestris. I'd love the English name for this to be the Pinocchio Fly with its huge snout!

Here is the Bugle in all its glory. Other plants included Moschatel and Three-nerved Sandwort.

Other hoverflies included singletons of the stunning deadwood species Brachypalpoides lenta and Xylota segnis, Leucozona lucorum, Epistrophe elegans, Episyrphus balteatus, Eristalis sp, and Helophilus sp. Nothing really rare there but I have only seen Brachypalpoides once before at The Mens.

Lots of these Cheilosisa variabilis with their too long wings that really made them stand out. This was a new species for me. It's larvae use the roots of figwort.

I also swept this very UGLY Xysticus, almost as ugly as Xysticus audax is stunning, this is the female of Xysticus lanio. As long as the Bugle is in flower, this little clearing will be drawing in all sorts of invertebrates so I will be heading back next time the sun comes out! Nice one Steve!

2 Response to "Hover craft"

Patrick Roper Says:

It has been an exceptional year for bugle in Sedlescombe, East Sussex. I have never seen so many spikes (110) in my Square Metre area for example. It is not due to coppicing here as none has been done. I suspect the very wet, mild winter.

Graeme Lyons Says:

There is even masses of it in the fields at Butcherlands this year!

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