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Most users ever online was 248 on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:53 pm


A late season pick - me - up

 
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: A late season pick - me - up Reply with quote

Just returned from a 30+ species day in a small Shropshire woodland. In fact the best day of the year so far in terms of species numbers. Highlight of the day was ten sightings of Arctophila superbiens. Also lots of magnificently large Sericomyia silentis, huge numbers of Eristalis pertinax and Helophilus pendulus; several Eristalis horticola, a few Helophilus trivitattus, a lone Ferdinadea cuprea and a few Leucozona lucorum. Aphid feeders seem to be in lowest numbers, whilst all those denizens of wet, mushy substrates are thriving. No surprise there really.

Anyway, for 2007's summer, at last a really decent day! Very Happy

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Nigel Jones
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
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John O'Sullivan



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 128
Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work, Conopid - you are obviously on a different planet over there! Anywhere outside my Bedforshire window right now is good habitat for Eristalis larvae - or at least the ones with the longest breathing tubes!
Send us some sunshine (and an Arctophila would be superb, too!)
Happy hunting!
John
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,
You don't necessarily require sunshine, or even much warmth. Temperatures yesterday never went above 17 degress and the woodland was absolutely swarming with Ersiatlis and Helophilus, with plenty of other flies pitching in to provide excellent entertainment. I'd suggest getting out as long as it is dry and finding some sheltered woodland rides. You should not be disappointed.

I can't do much about the Arctophila's though. I think you need to move west to get these! Wink

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Nigel Jones
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Hovers in overcast Reply with quote

Hi Nigel

I think you must be blessed - I've just had a couple of days in Scotland and never managed more than 14 species - and not a single record of Arctophila! Actually I was wondering if Arctophila has crashed - anyone else any ideas?

Regards

Roger
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Roger,
I certainly feel blessed after such a poor season. I have only seen one Arctophila since this sighting, at another site, near Bishop's Castle. The species is never common in Shropshire. In fact I have only ever sen it three times in the county since 1988.

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Nigel Jones
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
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Tony White



Joined: 12 Mar 2006
Posts: 61
Location: Byfield, Northants

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: A late season pick-me-up Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I suspect we're all praying for an "Indian Summer" to finish off the season with a flourish. With the ivy coming in to bloom there will still be plenty of opportunities to bag some "goodies". Just swept Neoascia obliqua from lush vegetation by a small steam (steam? I meant stream) and it appears to be a new county record for VC32 (Northants) so I won't put my sweep net in mothballs just yet. Watching Northampton Saints rugby team last Saturday an Eristalis tenax came and sat on my knee. It didn't seem to enjoy the game as it soon left (it hadn't paid to watch anyway). Is this an unrecorded habitat?

Tony White
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Neoascia obliqua Reply with quote

Hi Tony

interesting record - were there Petasites plants in the vicinity? This species seems to be associated with the plant. Habitat sounds right.

I took R. rostrata in North Wales last weekend - most northerly recent record - so yes there is a chance of goodies during the "Indian Summer" - keep an eye open for Cheilosia griseiventris as this ought to be around

Regards

Roger
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All,
Rhingia rostrata has begun to appear in a number of places here in Shropshire in the last week or so. At one site it was quite numerous. I have also seen a splendid Eriozona syrphoides, several Melangyna umbellatarum and more Arctophila superbiens. All sites visited in the last week or so have been conifer plantations, where the rides are full of wonderful displays of Angelica and Knautia. Have clocked up twenty plus species regularly at these sites, but I have to say that many species, such as Eupodes are absent or in verly low numbers. Whatever, it's much better than July was and it's certainly worth keeping the net and pooter handy for a few weeks yet!

See one of these lovely plantation rides at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/insectman/1230918452/

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Nigel Jones
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
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John O'Sullivan



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 128
Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting, thanks all. Congrats to Tony on the new VC record, and I'll look out for obliqua (and Petasites) this side of the county boundary. About that tenax - could it have scented the churned up mud of the pitch? (Not that I would dream of comparing the Saints to cattle, but you get my drift!)

Happy hunting,

John
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