Archive for May, 2014

I have been skulking about in the path edges indulging in some voyeuristic photography of the tiny creatures living there. The number of parasitic wasps and flies has surprised me. Each parasite has a preferred range of prey. Also it is astonishing how many creatures are maimed and missing body parts. Death is continuously an instant away.

The range and number of invertebrates (no backbone) is a wonderous thing. I have put some of my favourites in this post. I don’t know what they all are. Many have to be dissected to understand the exact species, and I am just working from photographs. My species list so far is here.

Miris striatus, a mirid bug, 12.5.2014. It is tiny, 9 to 11 mms long.


Sawfly, Tenthredinidae, 24.4.2014. Another tiny creature, but I can’t find anything like it on the internet. It looks like it is put together from a kit of parts.

Torymidae species wasp 30.4.2014. Many species in the family Torymidae are parasitic on the gall forming insects. It’s a rather fetching metallic green. A tiny pink mite is just in front of it.


Trochulus hispidus, Hairy Snail, 13.5.2014. I just love a snail with hairs on the outside of its shell. I can’t get past the question of why?

….. and the list is constantly growing.


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Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes, 14.5.2014

While kneeling, looking at insects, this wren crashed landed a short way from me. It missed its footing as a breeze moved the landing target bramble, possibly distracted as it caught sight of me over the top of the tangle of brambles, as it approached from the other side. It extricated itself with a couple of seconds of squawking frenzied activity and sat for a moment looking for all the world as if it was pretending that ‘it wasn’t me’. It flew off apparently totally unharmed.

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes, 14.5.2014

Photos are in my flickr group of bird photos here, and my photos of Abney in May here.



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I took a few minutes yesterday to watch a hoverfly of the species Platycheirus scutatus, carefully laying an egg in a cow parsley bud. It might have been a couple of eggs, I couldn’t see exact detail, but I think it was a single egg. She landed on a leaf near the plant she had chosen and had a really good clean up, had a stretch and  took off for the bud. She then spent a short while tasting the plant, it looked like double checking it was the right plant, circled round a bit to get comfy, and laid the egg.

The plant chosen was right at the path edge. 5 minutes later I stopped a small boy with a stick beating the cow parsley in a different area. His parents didn’t realise it was a nature reserve. They have promised me they won’t allow him to do this again. They were one of 3 families that I spoke to yesterday who thought it was OK to pick flowers in Abney and didn’t realise the nature reserve status existed or that it meant no picking flowers – and they were reasonable people who had not noticed the signs. It hadn’t crossed their minds that a nature reserve could exist within a built up area.

Initially, when this post went up, I has the identification wrong. Thankfully  Roger Morris has let me know what it should have been and I have adjusted it accordingly.

Female landed on a leaf for a good cleaning session prior to egg laying…..

Link to the photos of invertebrates found in Abney so far this year.

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