Seen in and around Stroud in May

If you have sightings from your garden, or out and about in Stroud you can submit them here.  If you have a photo of something we do not yet have in our monthly gallery we will upload it, otherwise we will be using for our records.

Common frog - Rana temporaria

Common frogs have smooth skin that varies in colour from grey, olive green and yellow to brown. They have irregular dark blotches, a dark stripe around their eyes and eardrum, and dark bars on their legs. They are able to lighten or darken their skin to match their surroundings. more…

Photo – Jude Harris – Garden

Mandarin duck - Aix galericulata

A beautiful, unmistakable duck: male mandarins have elaborate plumage with orange plumes on their cheeks, orange ‘sails’ on their back, and pale orange sides; females are dull in comparison but really beautiful, with grey heads, brown backs and white eyestripe.  more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – Canal

Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najas

 Found in lakes, gravel pits, canals and slow-flowing rivers.  The males often sit on water lily leaves defending their leaf from other males.  Locally common in southern England and the Welsh Borders.  Look closely adn you’ll see the pike underneath it.

 more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – Canal

Yellow iris - Iris pseudacorus

So beautiful bathing in the sun at Capel’s Mill.  This is a young one they can grow to be a metre long.  The pike is a long, slender fish with a narrow, tapered head, large eyes, a flattened snout and a large mouth full of sharp teeth. It is olive green in colour, with creamy blotches. more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – canal

Ashy mining bee (Andrena cineraria)

One of our most distinctive spring-flying solitary bees with striking black and grey/white markings. Belongs to the Andrena family of mining bees, female Ashy-mining bees excavate small tunnels in the earth to make their nests. They can occasionally be found nesting in large groups, but are also found in small groups or as single females. more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Canal

Small TortoiseshellAglais 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 – Canal

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator

Mostly associated with large, well-vegetated ponds and lakes, but may be found over canals and slow-moving rivers. The female is usually green and the male blue

The female lays her eggs, alone, in floating pondweed.

 more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Canal

Yellow iris - Iris pseudacorus

The Yellow iris has tall reed stems that are sometimes branched. Its long, narrow leaves are grey-green and sword-like, and may droop at the ends. Its large, yellow flower petals fold back on themselves and hang down around the outer edges of the flower.  more…

Photo – Jude Harris – found in house

Cistus Forester - Adscita geryon

 Cistus Forester’s foodplant is common Rock-rose, a papery yellow flower which we have on the commons in Stroud

The adults are active by day, the moth visiting flowers such as Common Rock-rose, Kidney Vetch, Wild Thyme and Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil.  more…

Photo – Chloe Cox Rodborough Common

Scarlet Tiger - Callimorpha dominula

Caterpillars seen on green alkanet during March and April. This tropical-looking moth is very distinctive.  Frequently flies in sunshine, particularly in late afternoon and early evening for the males.  Can also be found during the day resting on leaves. Also flies at night. more…

Photo – Chloe Cox Castle Street Garden

Lime Hawk-moth -Mimas tiliae

It has a distinctive scalloped-edged forewing, subtly coloured in pinkish and green. The central dark band is quite variable in size and extent.

Occupying woodland and suburban habitats, it flies in May and June, and often comes to light.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – The Bridle

Lesser stag beetle - Dorcus parallelipipedus

The Lesser stag beetle may be smaller than its famous cousin, but it is still a relatively large beetle with large jaws. Adults can be found in woodland, parkland and hedgerows during the summer  more…

Photo – Jude Harris – found in house

Pyrausta despicata moth

Occupies suitably chalky and limestone habitats throughout the British Isles. Flight periods in May and June, and later in July and August.  The larvae feed on ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), greater plantain (P. major), often in groups, in silken galleriesmore…

Photo – Graeme Davis Rodborough Common

Pancalia leuwenhoekella

The larvae feed on hairy violet (viola hirta) or dog violet (viola canina), with the adults flying in sunshine from April to June, in its chalk and limestone habitats.  The moth is locally common in southern England, and sparsely distributed throughout the rest of the UK.   more…

Photo – Graeme Davis Rodborough Common

Emperor Moth - Saturnia pavonia

Flies in late March through to April and May, in one generation.  Eggs are laid from April to May in batches attached to the foodplant. The caterpillars can be found from late May to August.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis Rodborough Common

Early purple orchid

Early purple orchid is one of our earliest flowering orchids, appearing from April to June. It is often found in habitats with non-acidic soils, such as hedgerows, banks, ancient woodland and open grassland.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis Rodborough Common

Common Twayblade orchids

Medium-sized orchid that can be easily overlooked despite being one of our commonest species. Common in the woodlands, scrub and grasslands of chalky soils, its flower spike carries a very loose cluster of yellow-green flowers. It is in bloom from May to July.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis Rodborough Common

Small Blue - Cupido minimus

Our smallest resident butterfly is easily overlooked, partly because of its size and dusky colouring, but partly because it is often confined to small patches of sheltered grassland where its sole foodplant, Kidney Vetch, is found.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Sesley Common

Duke of Burgundy - Hamearis lucina

Small and orange and brown, like a tiny fritillary. Undersides of hind wings have rows of white spots. Lives in small colonies on grassland or woodland clearings.It has declined substantially in recent decades.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Selsley Common

Pyrausta nigrata

With its blackish ground colour and creamy spots and cross-lines, this is quite a distinctive species, which flies in the daytime.  It occurs on chalky downland in the south of England and the limestone pavements of Cumbria and Westmorland.  more…

Photo – Graeme Davis – Sesley

White Helleborine - cephalanthera damasonium

This orchid grows up to 60cm in height, has heavily-ribbed oval leaves, and carries up to 16 white flowers on an upright stem. The flowers do not open fully and so the blunt yellow lip is barely visible. more…

Photo – Mark Lang – Stroud Cemetery

Narcissus Bulb Fly - Merodon equestris

Known as the Large Narcissus Fly or Narcissus Bulb Fly, this hairy bumblebee mimic has many colour forms, allowing it to resemble several species of bumblebee. It has a triangular projection beneath the hind femur. more…

Photo – Chloe Cox – Castle Street

Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis

The green elytra (wing covers) are pointed and gape apart. This is a female, the male has large green bulges on its femora or thighs. Flower meadows, gardens and waste ground where they visit flowers. This beetle is a pollen feeder. more…

Photo –Chloe Cox – Castle Street

Thick-legged Hoverfly - Syritta pipiens

Being small, this species is easy to overlook but the strange thickened rear leg make it easy to identify at close quarters.  Gardens, rough meadows and along hedgerows.  It breeds in compost, manure and other rotting organic matter. more…

Photo –Chloe Cox – Castle Street