Thursday, 9 July 2015

May 2015

A very belated summary for May. The weather was often cool or breezy and numbers seemed to be well down on previous years. However a few interesting flies were noted. 

We held two Hoverwatch sessions at Old Sulehay. The early May one did not turn up anything out of the ordinary but the late May session recorded Pipizella viduata and P. virens and, for the first time, Criorhina floccosa. After completing the formal counts we also recorded Criorhina berberina, Brachyopa insensilis and Brachypalpoides lentus. These last four species are all associated with dead wood or sap runs. The early May Hoverwatch did turn up the Conopid fly Myopa testacea. All Conopid records are much aprreciated as we only get a few each year. They are easy to recognise as a family but not quite so simple to identify to species as several look very similar.  

The moth traps at Pitsford turned up a few flies. The hoverfly Parasyrphus punctulatus, an early season species, was taken. This occurs in the moth traps most years but I get very few records of it from general fieldwork. Craneflies caught in the traps were Nephrotoma appendiculata and Tipula submarmorata.  

I have not received many records yet for May from other dipterists but amongst Kev Rowley's records was the hoverfly Paragus haemorrhous at Storton's Reserve. This is a new site for this species, which prefers short grasslands with bare patches that can heat up quickly in sunny conditions.