June 2020

Summer is definitely here, the dry weather through May means the many species are early.  With the leaves now their summer green and the hedgerows thick it’s a great time to go out in your garden or on the footpaths and see what’s around.  If you’ve never been to Daneway or Strawberry Banks nature reserves now’s the time.

Great green bush-cricket- Tettigonia viridissima

The large Great green bush-cricket lives in trees and on grassland dotted with patches of scrub, eating vegetation and other insects. It prefers light, dry soils into which the females can lay their eggs using their very long, down-curved ovipositors. more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – Bisley Road Cemetery

Wasp - ichneumonids

Probably Pimpla A mainly black species, but with bright orange legs, the hind pair of legs being only slightly larger than the other pairs. This is a male  Feeds mostly on flowers. more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – Kitchen

Broad-bodied Chaser - Libellula depressa

The Broad-bodied chaser is a medium-sized, broad-bodied dragonfly that is on the wing from May to July, and occasionally into August. It is a common dragonfly of ponds and small lakes. It regularly returns to the same perch after swift flights out across the water looking for insects. Mating occurs on the wing more…

Photo – Chloe Cox  – Garden

Hornet Moth - Sesia apiformis

Similar in appearance to the Lunar Hornet Moth it can be distinguished by the yellow patches on the head and shoulder and a black collar. The adults can be found resting on poplar trunks after they have emerged in June.

They overwinter at least twice as larvae for the first and sometimes second winter and as fully grown larvae in cocoons for the second or third winter. more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – found by Oskar in Uplands

Privet hawk-moth - Sphinx ligustri

Very large hawk-moth that is on the wing for a short period in June and July. It is commonly found in parks and gardens, as well as woodland. The adults are attractive, but it is the large caterpillars that really catch the eye: lime-green with a purple blush, purple-and-white streaks on the side, a pale yellow spot on each segment, and a big, blackish hook at the tail end. more…

Photo – Gaeme Davis – Garden

Elephant hawk moth

Medium-sized hawk-moth, on the wing from May to early August and active at dusk. It is commonly found in parks and gardens, as well as woodland edges, rough grassland and sand dunes. The caterpillars are seen from July to September and are very characteristic: greyish-green or brown, with two enormous, black eyespots towards the head. When disturbed, they swell up to show these spots and scare off predators. more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Garden

Swallow-tailed Moth - Ourapteryx sambucaria

The wings are a pale yellow colour which fades whiter with age, with two darker lines crossing the forewings and one line crossing the hindwings.

The adults are occasionally disturbed during the day but they are strictly nocturnal flying rapidly at night. They are attracted to light. They overwinter as caterpillars in a bark crevice.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis  – Garden

The Snout - Hypena proboscidalis

A common species throughout Britain, this moth can often be found in numbers around dusk, flying over patches of the foodplant, nettle (Urtica dioica).

It is on the wing from June to August, and again later in the autumn, and is a common occurrence at the light-trap.

It occurs on waste ground, gardens, woodland and other places where nettle occurs more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Garden

Devil's coach horse

The Devil’s coach horse is a long, black beetle with short elytra (wing cases). At first glance you could mistake it for an earwig.

A nocturnal predator, this beetle lives in and around decaying matter. During the day it tends to rest among leaf litter or under stones. Females lay their eggs in the soil, and these hatch into carnivorous larvae. more…

Photo – Gaeme Davis – Garden

Thick headed fly - Conopidae

Thick-headed Flies are impressive insects, often very unlike any other fly most people will have encountered and have interesting life histories. Structurally, they have certain anatomical features, suggesting they are closely related to hoverflies.

Thick-headed Flies are parasitic insects more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – QE2 park

Downland villa bee fly

Listed as endangered, the downland villa bee fly can be found in south-facing areas of the Commons that have been well grazed by the cattle. It’s so rare that it’s only been recorded a handful of times in previous decades.

It uses its distinctive bee-like appearance to protect itself from predators. Very little is known about this rare fly more…

Photo – Graeme Davis  – Daneway

Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticae

The Small Tortoiseshell is among the most well-known butterflies in Britain and Ireland. The striking and attractive patterning and its appearance at almost any time of the year in urban areas have made it a familiar species. It is one of the first butterflies to be seen in spring and in the autumn it often visits garden flowers in large numbers. more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – QE2 Park

Green Woodpecker

The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill.   You will find them where there are ants and this is their main food

They have an undulating flight and a loud, laughing call.. more…

Photo – Gaeme Davis – Garden

Bee Orchid - Ophrys apifera

The name Bee orchid comes from a species of bee – which is thought to have driven the evolution of the flowers.  The right species of bee doesn’t occur in the UK, so Bee Orchids are self-pollinated here. Look out for their diminutive flower spikes on dry, chalk and limestone grasslands from June to July.  more…

Sadly 2 days later it was gone

Photo – Chloe Cox – Minchinhampton Common

Large Blue - Phengaris arion

This is the largest and rarest of our blue butterflies, distinguished by the unmistakable row of black spots on its upper forewing. Undersides are pale brown with black spots. The Large Blue is one of the most enigmatic butterflies, whose remarkable life cycle involves spending most of the year within the nests of red ants, where the larvae feed on ant grubs.  more…

Photo – Chloe Cox  – Daneway

Cockchafer (May-bug) Melolontha melolontha

Adult Cockchafers are found on and around trees and shrubs in gardens, parks, field hedgerows and woodland margins, feeding on leaves and flowers. The larvae, sometimes called rookworms, live in the soil and eat the roots of vegetables and grasses. more…

Photo – Amanda Brown – Garden