Saturday, 23 July 2016

Crawling Things

It's that time of year when the garden seems to be filling with creepy-crawlies. Among the more common and certainly the most numerous of these has to be the Black or Common Garden Ant (Lasius niger.) These little insects are a mixed blessing for the gardener. They help by eating many other insects which are not so favourable, but they also 'farm' aphids for their honeydew and no-one likes an aphid! In our garden at the moment, a nest of Black Ants has been formed in our compost bin and in the warm weather, many winged individuals are beginning to appear.
These winged ants are all males, produced by the Queen when it's time for nuptial flights to occur. They will take to the air to mate with less common, winged females, the immature Queens.
Their scuttling movements are tricky to photograph in the dim light of the compost bin but as such, this movement has come out well in the photo.
Another 'crawling thing' crossed our path a few days ago as we went out for our walk. A Devil's Coach-horse Beetle (Ocypus olens.)
One of Britain's largest beetles, the Devil's Coach-horse is a fearsome predator of small invertebrates including earthworms, many times larger than themselves and even Woodlice which are well armoured. But the mandibles of the Devils' Coach-horse are well up the task. It even has the temerity to threaten much larger animals like me as I pointed my camera at it.
Post a Comment