Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Pipizella virens agg. new for valley.

The photo I posted earlier under Melonogaster has be niggling at my brain for 24hrs. The more I look at the photo regarding the face shape and antennae lengths leads me to believe that it is in fact a Pipizella specifically the long antennae species virens or maculipennis. Maculipennis is vey rare [59 records on NBN Gateway] and has not been recorded in Wales. Not even in the insect rich Gower where visiting researchers have failed to find it, or Carmarthenshire where a hoverfly survey has been documented. So I sent photos to R. Morris the head poncho of the Hoverfly Recording Scheme for his thoughts. His reply indicated that it was indeed virens/maculipennis but can't go any further from photos of this difficult species. Even though maculipennis is highly unlikely, I will have to record it as Pipizella virens agg. but it's still new for valley. Below are some photos I managed to take.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Garnwen and Drysiog circular route

 Froghopper -species looking just like a frog [Aphrophora alni - Alder Spittlebug]
 Criorhina flocossa - couldn't quite get close enough
 Cassida species - there are 12 "Green Tortosie Beetle" species, I tried to key this one, but can't be done.
 Pipizella virens/maculipennis - maculipennis not recorded in Wales, so has to be virens [new for valley under Pipizella virens agg. label]
 Nemorpha degeerella - although antennae looks a bit short [over to you Sid]
 Xyphosia miliara - no English name, but I'm calling it "The Thistle Orange Gall Fly"
 Myathropa florea
 Volucella bombylans - plumata form
 Xylota segnis - huge difference in size between male [large] and female
Xylota segnis - resting after a job well done

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Nanty river area insects in the afternoon

 Anasymia contracta - another site for this hoverfly
 Dichrorampha petiverella - micro moth
 Golden-ringed Dragonfly
 Rhagonycha fulva - Soldier Beetle
 Sicus ferrugineous - Conopid fly
 Tree Bumblebee - 30 present
Wasp species - don't know enough about this family to ID - one for Irecord

More scarce/rarities at Blaencaerau

Went back up today to try and find some more Forester moths, managed to find one in another place. But it looks like it prefers the dry Grassland covering the old tips, rather than the wetland grassland near the allotments. I was on the border of the two when I found the first one on Tuesday.

The highlight for me was the first ever sighting of Dark Green Fritillary at the sight. Not a common species anymore. The only other colony known in the valley is at Nanty, this may have been destroyed by so called "Environmentalists" with their European grants even though they were told the species was present. EU moto - "Fuck the wildlife, plant more trees" , Counted 5 individuals spread over a wide area. VOTE LEAVE TODAY.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Rare insects at Blaencaerau COP area yesterday

 The Forester moth - Very rare in Glamorgan - a recently discovered small colony in the east of the county is the only record for Glamorgan since 1924. So this 2nd sighting is a significant record and of course a worthy edition to the valley moth list [circa 900 species]. Photo by P. Parsons
Rhyssa persuasoria an ichneumon fly - this the largest species of ichneumon fly in the British Isles and is found in or near coniferous woodland. It is 4-5" in length including the dagger like ovipositor on this female. There are only 156 records on NBN  Gateway, two 10km squares of which are in Glamorgan. So this the third square it has been seen at.

Grammoptera abdomalis a longhorn beetle - a rare longhorn with only 93 records on NBN Gateway. This being the 3rd 10km record for Glamorgan. It is told from the similar Grammoptera ruficornis by being larger in size and the antennae second segment not elongate like that species but "knobbled"
[see image below of ruficornis] and is the 10th species of Longhorn Beetle seen in the valley.
Grammoptera ruficornis with second antennae segment elongate, and is much smaller and slimmer than abdomalis. [archive photo from the sewage works, Lletty Brongu 2016]

Monday, 20 June 2016


An hour up Garnwen hoping for sunshine that never showed.

 Willow Tortrix - 8 of these seen today
 Celypha lacunana - lots
Volucella pellucens - few hoverflies on the wing, lucky to get this one in a 30 second bought of sunshine

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Weather man messes up forecast again

A sunny day it was not, rather overcast and cool and even specks of rain up the top of the valley. So went as far south in the valley as I could, along the river below the sewage works. The cool weather meant insects numbers  were well down.

It was so boring even the Volucella bombylans I came across was doing a Mexican Wave.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Lletty Brongu woods

41 species of hoverfly present with the best photos below. The Parhelophilus that I and Paul Tabor have been trying to nail down was still present, in fact there were 9 of them. I netted 2 males and 1 female. Both males were Parhelophilus versicolor - 98th species of hoverfly for valley. I'm waiting on Heringia heringi if confirmed it would be number 99 [Heringia rejected by HRS - not enough evidence from photo]. I've also got a Cheilosia that could be interesting fingers crossed.

 Chrysotoxum bicinctum
 Eristalis arbustorum
 Eristalis rupium - new for me
 Eupeodes corollae
 Parhelophilus versicolor - New for Valley [98]
Platycheirus granditarsus - female

Blaencaerau part 2 yesterday

 Eupoecilia angustana - micro moth
 Broad Centurian [Chloromyia formosa] - Soldierfly
Pied Fly species - should be able to ID this with a bit of research [Graphomya maculata]

Blaencaerau insects yesterday

 Black Snipefly - females are brown
 Iris Flea Beetle [Aphthona nonstriata] - Only found on Yellow Iris but quite common.

 Plant Bug Grypocoris stysi - common
Plant Bug - Leptopterna dolabrata - fairly common

More to follow once ID'd

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Garnwen soldierfly

I went moth trapping with Paul Parsons last night and this small soldierfly came to the light, there were about 6 of them all the same species. It seems to be from the "centurion" family of soldierfly of which there are 8 species or the Legion family of which there are also 8 species.. Clouded Centurion [Sargus cuprarius] is the only one with dark markings on the wing. Yellow-legged Legion is also very similar looking at photos on Flickr pages and this is the more common and obvious species apparently. I've put it on Irecord, hoping for confirmation of which one it is. [***Unable to confirm from photo***]

Friday, 10 June 2016

Area around Raliway bridge up river from Sewage Works

 Chrysogaster solstitialis
 Volucella bombylans - black/yellow/white form
 Myathropa florea - very orange form as opposed to pale yellow
 Volucella pellucens
 Ashy-mining Bee
Early-mining Bee