Thursday, 29 November 2012

November 29th

A bright, frosty morning promised a few flies if I could find a sheltered sunny spot. I walked round Cold Oak Copse on the Compton Estate with other members of the "Wild Bunch".  A few small flies were darting about in the sun but I had only taken my small folding net and failed to catch any. I did manage to poot a couple of flies from tree trunks. Mike Killerby was more successful. He was beating shrubs to dislodge harvestmen and several flies dropped out, which he passed on to me. I have pinned them but only just started identifying them. Three picture-winged flies turned out to be one female Tephritis leontodontis and two male Tephritis formosa. A small cranefly with spotted wings and yellowish femora, each bearing three dark rings, was the very common Limonia nubeculosa. A pointed-wing fly was the usual Lonchoptera lutea. I still have some fungus gnats, a stilt fly and some calypterates to sort out. That was a reasonably productive morning.

When I arrived home I noticed some winter gnats dancing in the air over my garden. I managed to net three and will tackle them later. (30/11/2012 - they are male Trichocera saltator).

Now that I know beating over a white tray is effective for winter flies, I hope to get a decent list for December, weather permitting.

30/11/2012 update on unidentified flies mentioned above. The "stilt fly" was not a stilt fly but a small long-legged Empid - Tachypeza nubila. The fungus gnats were Mycetophila britannica and Bolitophila pseudohybrida. Two of the calypterates were Anthomyids and I have not retained them!

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