Sunday, 30 March 2014

End of March

It has been a fairly mixed few weeks, typical of March, with some warm sunny days and some cold and wet ones. Needless to say, the Diptera have been patchy.  Eristalis tenax has shown up in my garden a few times and I have seen the odd one out in the countryside. My first Eristalis pertinax for the year was on 24th March in my garden. At the same time I saw a small Bacchini species of hoverfly but it disappeared before I could get a decent look. The only other hoverflies I have heard about this year were a Melangyna lasiophthalma, taken by Kev Rowley at Pitsford and a Parasyrphus punctulatus found at Harlestone Heath by Jeff Blincow. With the blackthorn and sallows now in full bloom more should be turning up now.

My first bee-fly Bombylius major of the year was yesterday in my garden. It was visiting Aubretia flowers. 

Another greenbottle-like Muscid fly Neomyia viridescens, was found at Yardley Chase. It was visiting coltsfoot flowers. Also at Yardley Chase have been the Tephritid flies Tephritis formosa and T. neesii.

My first snail-killing fly of the year was Hydromya dorsalis, swept from a marshy area in Achurch Meadows on 21st March.