Monday, July 8, 2013

Afton Marsh Insects

I love walking the footpaths around Afton Marsh because you never know what you're going to bump into from one day to the next. My main interest is hoverflies. The very smart-looking Eristalis intricarius can be found quite easily at the moment. Here is one individual keeping itself smart:

I hardly know any of the Muscid flies, but Graphomya maculata is hard to miss - I just love those markings on the abdomen:

I'm starting to see a good numbers of Depressaria daucella larvae hiding away amidst the umbels of the Hemlock Water-dropwort. The one in the photo below is about to be parasitised by the Ichneumon Wasp on the right. The larva was thrashing its head from side to side - is this some kind of protective mechanism or a reaction to having been parasitised just before I arrived?

Finally, I was fascinated by this Treehopper:
The Latin name is Centrotus cornutus, 'cornutus' referring to the horn-like projections above the head, the extent of which can be seen by this photo taken from above:
Perhaps they help to break up the outline, or even to give the impression of thorns? Impressive, or what!!


  1. Those Hovers are so pretty, as is the Wasp. I don't think I have seen a Tree Hopper. What blossom is the Graphomya maculata on?

  2. hi Toffeeapple - I think that one is on Hemlock Water-dropwort...of which there is loads flowering at the moment on the Marsh. Hope you're ok.