Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Caerau Old Pit [C.O.P.] reclamation site

First time out this year looking for hoverflies, managed 8 species. Photographed 6 and 2 I didn't were Chrysotoxum arcuatum [new for Caerau] and Helophilus pendulus.

 Eristalis pertinax - pale front and mid tibia diagnostic for Eristalis species.
Melanostoma species - thought it was "mellinum", where the tergites on the abdomen are as wide as long as opposed to"scalare", where they are longer than wider (see below) [new for Caerau]. Sent photos to an expert but he wouldn't commit. Antenna structure are important too and also fits "mellinum"
 Melanostoma scalare - female - heavy triangular dusting on the frons (top of head) is diagnostic
 Melanostoma scalare - male - the tergites are much longer than wide.
 Neoascia podagrica/obliqua - clouded veins on wings narrow it down to these species. They are hard to separate from a photo, but "obliqua" tends to be found around beds of Butterbur, the nearest being 15 miles away. So it is most likely podagrica [new for Caerau]
 Platycheirus albimaus - very common species with grey spots on abdomen

 under magnification you can see tufted hairs on the top of the front femur in an "L" shape, which is diagnostic for "scutatus". Although it is preferred to call it "sen. sl." which is latin for most probably but I have reservations and this is the way I have to record it scientifically.

Besides hoverflies a few summer birds have returned in 1 Blackcap, 1 Redstart, 6 Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff. Resident breeders included 2 pairs of Linnet, 1 pair of Skylark, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

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