Thursday, 6 February 2014

Early February 2014

After a couple of months of doing admin and identifications, I managed a little fieldwork today (6/2/2014). The recent gales had toppled some Scots Pine trees in Denton Wood and I took the opportunity to beat the still-green leaves to see if any insects would fall out. I struck lucky and two picture-winged flies fell into my tray. At first I thought they were the same species but examination under the microscope showed clear differences. The first was Tephritis neesii, a species I have recorded earlier this winter. The second was Tephritis vespertina, which I have never seen before. It has very distinctive wing markings, with a broad dark V mark spanning a small white apex to the wing and vague dark markings between the anal veins. Both specimens were males. 

I have also two other species of fly from a Spruce but they are both Frit Flies Chloropidae, and I do not have a key for these at present. I have retained the vouchers so if anyone does have a key and wants to identify them, they are available.

I then tried beating some standing spruces but did not find any flies. However I did find a larch ladybird,  Aphidecta obliterata.

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