Sunday 9 July 2017

Archer's Dart, Little Gull, Beewolf and Pantaloon Bee

Archer's Dart - I was really chuffed to discover this beauty in the trap this morning. It's a localised species, mainly tied to sand dunes and heaths. Not really on my list of expected species to be honest, but easily the smartest 'dart' I've ever seen.
A big gathering of gulls in the estuary was grilled for some time early this morning. I was expecting more Mediterranean Gulls but could actually only pick out a couple, although there were at least 5 off the seafront when I looked a little later on. In with the gulls were 12 Sandwich Tern and, best of all, a first-summer Little Gull. The expected Yellow-legged Gull never materialised, despite good numbers of Herring Gull and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
This afternoon I had a wander around the Maer and, thanks to a tip-off from Kev, enjoyed good views of a large colony of Pantaloon Bees Dasypoda hirtipes and several Beewolf Wasps Philanthus Triangulum.

Claoked Minor - I trap this species fairly regularly but rarely are they as well-marked and contrasty as this one.

Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes

Pantaloon Bee - this one, with big pantaloons, was moving in and out of a tunnel, using its whopping legs like paddles to clear sand away from the entrance.

Beewolf - hadn't even heard of these until yesterday when Kev contacted me. They look harmless enough but evidently they're lethal little insects if you're a bee. I saw one carrying a bee into a hole. I tried to photograph it but ended up with a blur - see below:

I think this is the species that the Beewolf was predating. I'd be grateful to know what species it is. Edit - This is a Silvery Leafcutter Bee, Megachile leachella and it's not the prey of Beewolf. The Beewolf preys exclusively on Honey Bees apparently. Many thanks to Kev for the info.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Matt Beewolf apparently only takes honeybees so the last one a Silvery Leafcutter Megachile leachella should be safe...