Villa in the sun

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 4 July 2016 17:50

It's ironic that I was with Mike Edwards when he found the first record for Downland Villa Villa cingulata in Sussex the day after I watched my first ever football match. It's a type of bee-fly and is quite a smart looking beast. It hovers around in chalk-grassland looking for its host which is thought to be noctuid moth larvae. Having swept the grassland there all day yesterday, the only noctuid larvae we found in any abundance was Dusky Sallow. Could it be host-specific on this moth larvae?

Other exciting finds included the Mistletoe specialist bug Pinalitus viscicola which is new to West Sussex. Great also to see a male Araneus angulatus, only seen the females before.

Also new for me was this Six-belted Clearwing that I swept off a bank of Bird's-foot Trefoil. It was a bit worn from being swept but great to see my fifth clearwing (ALL without pheremones I should add).

This pyralid is also nationally scarce (Nb) and feeds on Knapweed. It's Paratalanta hyalinalis (yes that's seven 'a's).

Also, a couple of new beetles including Cleopus pulchellus. A rather smart little weevil.

A good day with two county firsts, four new flies, two new beetles, two new moths and one new bug.

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