Monday, 13 August 2012

New Fly

Yesterday's walk around Pewit Carr revealed a pair of flies caught 'in flagrante'.  I managed to get a couple of pictures of this courting couple as they were of a species new to me.  After much searching the Internet when we got home, it turns out that they were a species known as Coremacera marginata.
The intricate, black-and-white, checker-board markings on the wings of this fly, along with the black outline and red eyes, made them rather eye-catching.  Coremacera marginata is quite a mouthful, so it's nice to know they have a less challenging common name,  they are known as Snail-killing Flies.  This is a little misleading as the adult fly does not in fact eat snails.  The adults feed on nectar, while the larvae prey on various types of snail.  Very useful - especially this year with so many snails about.
Another flying insect to catch our eye was a White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) feeding on the nectar of one of the few remaining Dandelion flowers.
Attracting many insect species, the flat-topped inflorescences of the Yarrow plants (Achillea millefolium) were  in full bloom.  The soft, feathery leaves of these plants are often to be found lining the nests of Starlings.  This also has the benefit of keeping parasites down.  The plant contains an oil which kills some species of mosquito larvae.
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