At last…

…it’s warm enough for the over-wintering insects to come out of hibernation, and the garden is full of activity: a wren and a coal-tit picking insects off the trees, clouds of leaf-hoppers, numerous ladybirds (mostly 7-spot, but I did see one Harlequin), a couple of butterflies (Brimstone and Peacock). Here are a few things I hadn’t seen before:

Two leafhoppers (in addition to hundreds of green Empoasca sp.) – many of these over-winter on conifers. This one was on a yew needle:
Leafhopper (Balclutha punctata)
and this one on a bramble leaf:
Leafhopper (Zygina flammigera)
This is a Red Velvet Mite. It apparently plays a role in decomposing dead plant matter, and (unlike the much smaller Red Spider Mite) is not a garden pest. I just can’t imagine how I’ve never seen one before – the red colour is really vivid.
Red velvet mite (Trombidium sp.)
Here’s a Bee Fly: not really welcome, as they are predators of solitary bees, but evidence that solitary bees must be nesting here (the Bee Fly lays its eggs near the bees’ nests).
Bee fly (Bombylius major)

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4 Responses to “At last…”

  1. Gorgeous macros! How impressive all these insects!

  2. I love your blog! You know & see so much! I will frequently check this blog to see whatever is new, I love reading about nature like this. I love your photographs; I love photography myself, but I’m not very good. Would you be interested in checking out my blog? Mine’s also a nature blog where I write about things I notice outside. The address is: http://songofthewolf.wordpress.com.
    – Song of the wolf

  3. Really impressive photos. I’ve never seen a bee fly before, strange looking creature.

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