Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mynydd Ty-Talwyn

2 male Wheatear were the highlight, with one male taken an interest in a female Stonechat much to the annoyance of the male Stonechat. Otherwise all the usual suspects present. Cow Parsley is starting to flower along the road edges and is the first umbellifer of the year. Insects were seldom up here as things don't start going till middle of May due to its height above sea level and colder spring winds. Nevertheless I had 2 species of hoverfly both new for the year in Platycheirus ambiguus and Neoascia podagrica [netted and confirmed 1 of 15 present].

 Northern Wheatear
 Neoascia podagrica - there are 3 species of Neoascia with clouded marks on the cross-veins of the wing [as above] - podagrica/obliqua/interrupta. interrupta has a short 3rd antennae segment so this can be ruled out [below]. So it comes down to the band/spots on T2 of the abdomen, podagrica are straight [as here] while obliqua are oblique [pointed towards body, clue in the name]. so podagrica it is.
I suppose a question that has never been brought up is - do hoverflies open their wings before take off, judging by this photo I would say no, for Neoascia podagrica anyhow.

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