Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Bugs and Beasts

The sun was shining this morning. Well, it makes a change! So, with the warmth and humidity building, we set out for a walk around Shipley Park to Osborne's Pond and round Shipley Lake. As always when the sun shines at this time of year, we were pestered by the unwelcome attentions of numerous Cleg Flies (Haematopota pluvialis). Kept busy swatting them before they could take a bite out of us, I was as always, impressed by the iridescence of their eyes and I managed to bring one of the little blighters home to take a close-up picture.
I set this stunned fly on the door handle and pointed my camera at it - much to Malcolm's amazement and disgust. But with eyes like these, why wouldn't you find them interesting?
Here is a much closer view of the picture above in which, it is possible to see the 'business end' of the fly, namely the stabbing mouth parts which cause so much pain when they bite.
As I was taking the pictures of the Cleg-fly, my attention was caught by another mini-beast on the patio. Not recognising it, I rushed out and picked it up to try to take it's picture and identify it. Like the Cleg-fly above, this insect had piercing mouth-parts too. This time, there was no danger of it biting me as the bug turned out to be Capsus ater a common capsid bug which feeds on sap from plant stems rather than blood from my hand. Another new 'tick' for the life list!
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