Wednesday, 26 June 2019

A walk in the park

Today has been cloudy, cool and breezy. Not a great day for late June but I was in Byfield so I decided to go for it - a walk in the pocket park.

A surprising number of insects were about, not visiting flowers but hanging about as though waiting for the sun to put in an appearance. Some died waiting...

Only the tattered remains of a moth, but enough to identify as a
 Hebrew Character. Byfield Pocket Park, 26 June, 2019
It was a Hebrew Character, Orthosia gothica, sometime called Setaceous Hebrew Character. Or half of it. But this ubiquitous moth was not on the list for the site. (It is now!)

A good percentage of the insects about were bugs - true bugs that is, not hospital bugs or computer software bugs. One decided that my hand would be a safe place to rest. And it was too, for having photographed it I blew it away.
Surprisingly, Grypocoris stysi has no common name, despite being a
common bug. Byfield Pocket Park, 26 June, 2019

It was Grypocoris stysi, aka Calocoris stysi, a rather attractive bug.  If you come across it in the garden then leave it: it feeds on aphids. It was on the list.

I normally find the hoverfly Volucella pellucens on flowers, but it too seemed to be waiting for some sun. The Pellucid Hoverfly is a common insect but it is surprising how often it crops up on Facebook, with people asking, 'What is it?' The bold white bar across the abdomen is frequently split into two halves by a black line.

The 'common name' of Volucella pellucens is the Pellucid Hoverfly, but in
fact no one really calls it that. Byfield Pocket park, 26 June, 2019

Black Knapweed, Centaurea nigra, otherwise known as Hardheads, was in flower but unusually it too had no insect visitors. It frequently attracts what are known as Picture-winged Flies - but not today.

Black Knapweed. Very common and valuable for the insects it attracts.
Byfield Pocket Park. 26 June, 2019

The only insect nearby was this tortricid moth. It may be Zeiraphera isertana, a very common moth found right across Asia and Europe from China to Britain. But this is a tricky group and I am not confident or experienced enough to claim it for the pocket park.

A tortricid moth - and that is as far as I got.

Anyway, it is not the most exciting or colourful insect and sometimes you just have to walk away. So I did.

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