Don’t forget to look down!

Monday, May 5th 2014

Last week one of our volunteers, Glennis and other volunteers, went out with camera in hand to discover some of the insects found at Foxglove. Usually she spends her walking time looking up at the birds but on this occasion her eyes were firmly on the ground!

This is what they found...

A weevil is a type of beetle, they are usually less than 6 millimeters long. Most weevils have a prominent snout with jaws at the end and are mainly flightless. They are herbivorous throughout their lives.

Another weevil - Polydrusus tereticollis

There are many ladybirds on the reserve, here are just a few.

The 10-spot Ladybird is a small ladybird and confusingly it doesn't always have 10 spots! Once hatched it takes a while to develop the orange background colour. The legs of the 10 spot Ladybird are also orange, which is helpful for identification.

The 7-spot Ladybird is 'the' ladybird that everyone is familiar with and will turn up anywhere there are aphids for it to feed on.  Its seven black spots are arranged with three on each wing case and one sitting across the two wings.

Leaf Beetle is a common name for about 20,000 species of beetles distributed worldwide. Leaf beetles eat only vegetation, they have small, plump bodies, with smooth, metallic surfaces, and short legs.

This type of Leaf Beetle belongs to the species Chrysolina.

The Zebra Spider is a small but big-bodied spider, its black and white stripey pattern gives it its name. The Zebra Spider is a common jumping spider that stalks its prey before leaping on it.

The Red-breasted Carrion Beetle - Oiceoptoma thoracicum, is a scavenging, carnivorous beetle. It is unmistakable for any other British species, and is well distributed throughout the British Isles. It is a non-burying species found mainly in woodland.

Velvet Mites, often mistaken for spiders, are bright red and covered in tiny hairs. These give them a velvet appearance. Like other mites they have no antennae and instead use their front legs as feelers to check where they're going.

So, next time you're out walking on the reserve make sure to look down, you never know what you might see!

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