Species Roundup!

Sunday, April 22nd 2018

Wednesday was not only busy with moths and flora bursting out all over but with investigations into the identity of species and information regarding those species.

Ian and the volunteers had observed some bees working hard on the heath.  With some help from Dr Key, Mel and books this bee was identified as Heath Bumblebee.  At this time of year it is usually the queens that are seen hunting for a suitable place to nest.  A variety of sites may be used, old mouse holes, birds nests, amongst leaf litter or even in roof spaces. The small number of workers in the nest, about 50, visit a variety of flowers.

Heath Bumblebee

This is another new species for the reserve.

Heath Bumblebee

In the moth trap we can catch an ichneumon wasp.  Upon close examination this one was found to have a horse's head on its wing, well the veins arranged so that it looked like a horse's head.  This helped us to ID this species as Ohpion obscuratus, yet another new species.  Unfortunatley the photo does not show the wing pattern - but now we know what to look for hopefully we will be able to photograph it.

Ichneumon wasp

Walking along Risedale Beck eyes stray to bridge rails as these are often haunts for a variety of species.  A Stonefly was observed.

Stonefly

We also found the pupal case that it had emerged from.  This species lives in the beck where there is fast flowing water.

Pupal case of stonefly

An early morning walk around the reserve whilst the nets are being raised usually gives some lovely, special moments.  Approaching Hague Bridge very quietly I saw a Greylag Goose standing up very straight on the tree in the lake.  Another goose was flying around calling and the one on the tree was watching it and calling back.

Greylag Goose

Peacock butterflies were flying and when they landed they had to ensure that their wings were fully open and to the sun's rays so they could warm up.  Paths being a good place to land as they were already heating up.

Peacock Butterfly

There was a dew on Friday night that left some leaves of Wild Strawberry bejewelled.

Bejewelled Wild Strawberry leaf


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