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Where are they?

 
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Have you seen fewer hoverflies than usual this year?
Yes
100%
 100%  [ 5 ]
No
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 5

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AngieT



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Where are they? Reply with quote

Hello everybody.
Am I just unlucky, or are there very few hoverflies around this year? If so, I presume the weather is to blame. Normally by now our garden has lots of hoverflies (admittedly only the common species), but this year I have seen very few, even on sunny days.
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Mick Parker



Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 26
Location: Weymouth

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi AngieT
No, you are not unlucky! Hoverfly numbers appear to have crashed this
year! Take Leucozona lucorum for instance, which is usually a common species, I would normally see it in good numbers every time I go recording in the Spring, However, this year, I have only seen it on four
occasions and on each occasion it has been single specimens only! Shocked
And I have made hoverfly lists from about 25 sites, from which I previously noted it! often commonly! looking back through my records of May & June 1997 I recorded it over 20 sites!
also many of the other species that I have recorded are in low numbers
but none have appeared to have crashed as much as L lucorum!
I would be interested in other peoples views!
Mick Parker
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John O'Sullivan



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Angie and Mick.

I'm sure that you are both right; it's a bad year. The 2007 species list for my regular patch in Bedfordshire stands at some 55 species against around 78 by the same time last year (which was by no means an especially good one at the site). I'm still awaiting several regulars, including Eumerus funeralis and Dasysyrphus venustus. Like Mick, I have seen few Leucozona lucorum (anywhere). I suppose that the long wet spells are to blame; they probably killed, directly or indirectly, both the young stages and the adults of many species, and they kept us out of the field to find what little might have been flying.

Well, we can still make up a bit of lost ground...but I cast my vote for a Bad Year!

John
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AngieT



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: And it's not only hoverflies... Reply with quote

Oh well, at least, John, you have seen a good variety of hovers, even if it's not as many as usual. Also there seem to be precious few butterflies around this year. Normally at this time of year they would appear in our garden at the slightest sign of dry weather, but like the hovers they just don't seem to be around. The only butterflies that are definitely in the garden are two or three Speckled Woods, which are very territorial and presumably come out in all weathers to chase intruders off their little personal patches. Very Happy You haven't lived until you've seen your cat being chased up the garden path by a little butterfly!
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Tony White



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Where are they? Reply with quote

In general terms this has been a very poor season here in the English south midlands. However, on the odd sunny day flowers in my garden have been besieged by (hungry?) hoverflies in huge numbers. The species involved have been commonplace but a few less mundane have turned up, e.g. Volucella inanis on a Buddleia. But there's a lot of catching up tp be done!

Tony White
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AngieT



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which brings me to another point - have everybody else's buddleias been and gone far too early? Ours finished flowering about two weeks ago, so we have nothing in the garden for the few insects. Normally the buddleias would be in about their first week now, with another two or so weeks to go before they started to look a bit tatty.
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brianhstone



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Peterborough

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a Hebe "Great Orme". Flowers for longer and is a much better draw for hovers in my garden. Get even more to honeydew on the leaves of various native trees/shrubs though.
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Brian H Stone
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Tony White



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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:45 pm    Post subject: Where are they? Reply with quote

O.K. So the Buddleias may soon be over. Prolong the season with Michaelmas Daisies e.g. Aster amellus varieties, together with Sedum spectabile. Mine are just about to come into flower and, judging by last year, will get huge numbers of visitors. Always try to get plants as near to the original wild spp. as possible; highly complex hybrids are rarely as popular with insects.

Tony White
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AngieT



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:56 pm    Post subject: Plants Reply with quote

Yes chaps, thank you for your suggestions. I have never thought of Hebes. We actually do have Sedum spectabiles but they are nowhere near opening their flowers yet. I have just bought some Solidagos (Golden Rods) which seem to be attracting a few insects, but not many. Probably be better when they've been in for a year or so. Previous Golden Rods have been very attractive to hoverflies. The butterflies seem to be picking up a bit now, and I have seen a couple of strange small black hoverflies showing interest in the Solidagos. Strange to me, that is, not strange generally!
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lauriek



Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 29
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Ragwort Reply with quote

I don't know if its the sort of thing you'd want to plant but I'm finding most of the hoverflies (and bees) around here on Ragwort since the blackberry flowers turned into blackberries and the buddlea finished flowering.
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject: where are they? Reply with quote

This is just a terrible year! What is more, many specimens are minute - there are lots of E. blateatus about half their normal size and I've seen the same in E. arbustorum.

You need to go to Scotland for goodish numbers and even there it is hard work!

Regards

Roger
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chris webster



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Reading Berks

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a good year for two species though... masses of M. florea and E. pertinax on the Wild Parsnip around Reading.
Amongst the losers, L. lucorum had a very bad year, and I haven't seen E. horticola at all. If E. tenax is going to have a late summer peak it had better get on with it... Ivy is already flowering here.
C. festivum and bicinctum and X. pedissequum are in normal numbers at least.
I'm doing my best to ID Cheilosia species this year... found some C. soror last week. It would be nice to see Xanthandrus comtus, but no luck so far!

Chris W.
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AngieT



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you lauriek for your suggestion. I hope you won't think I am a pain in the proverbial, but I have to say that, yes, as with the sedum suggestion, I do actually have these plants growing in the garden. I think ragworts must be biennials though, as we seem to have them in flower every other year (they all came from one original plant so they all work from the same calendar!). This year they are doing the flat rosette bit and if they go to plan they will flower next year. I should really get some seeds and start off a new lot to flower in the years that this current lot don't. You are right, the insects love them!
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