Friday, 5 June 2009

Orchids

Another walk along the Nutbrook Trail this morning and the glorious sight of more orchids. Just a couple of colourful blooms among the grass stems by the side of the path. This time they belong to the Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

The beautifully marked petals were equaled by the spots on the leaves and stems, which give the plant it's name. You will see from the scientific name that they are part of the same family as the Southern Marsh Orchids seen a few days ago.

Rather common in the UK, pollinators include Hover Flies, female Cuckoo Bees, Buff-tailed Bumblebees and the beetle Dascillus cervinus. Plants multiply to form clumps as well as setting seeds quite well.
Speaking of Hover Flies, when we got home, the Pyracantha in the garden had several of these little insects on it.

This is one of many British Hover Flies and is a pretty convincing Honey Bee mimic. It's called Eristalis pertinax. A long name for such a small creature. It's closely related to the Drone Fly which is another mimic of the Honey Bee Drone - hence the name!
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