An afternoon visit with intermittent sun, temperature around 20 degrees and a gentle easterly breeze blowing. A good day for Odonata, especially around the dragonfly ponds. Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator put on a good show, with ovipositing females, plus several males holding territory on the best ponds. A female Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea was also busy ovipositing in the eastern pond. Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum showing really well on the western pond, regularly settling on the mud banks for a photo opportunity. Still a few Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata around, most now showing extensively damaged wings from their constant tussling with each other. Several Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum present, along with a few Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, the latter still only in low numbers compared to recent years. Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa now obvious around the ponds, with Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans still also present in good numbers. A surprise was the absence of Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis and Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella.
On the butterfly front the next generation of Peacock Inachis io are starting to appear and looking really smart. A good search through the Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris didn’t reveal any Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola as per my last visit. Other species noted included Green-veined White Pieris napi, Small White Pieris rapi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, Comma Polygonia c-album, Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus. A few moths noted included a new species to me in the form of Grapholita compositella, a smart little micro moth. Other noted included Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae and Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata.
Diptera wise, I was surprised by how little seemed to be around compared to recent visits, pretty much picking up only single individuals of most species. Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus still being the most abundant, though the Syrphus species were down to single figures. Other species found included Eupeodes corollae, Eristalis intricarius, Myathropa florea, Sphaerophoria scripta,Syritta pipiens and Eristalinus sepulchralis. Soldierfly numbers seemed to have dropped off, though a nice Flecked General Stratiomys singularior made up for the lack of numbers, with only a single Broad Centurion Chloromyia formosa for company. A Common Stilleto Thereva nobilitata was the only other species noted.
Spent a bit more time checking out the Grasshoppers, three species noted on this visit included Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus, Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus and Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus, as well as their close relative the Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima.
Beetle wise, there was a distinct lack of them compared to recent visits, with only a cople of 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata making an appearance when the sun came out. Oedemera lurida are now starting to appear, a couple found along Dryham Lane. Near Carp Lake a Golden-bloomed Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens was still around, though now totally devoid of its golden bloom, its season almost over.
Finally a few bugs noted included Tree Damsel Bug Himacerus apterus, Common Flower Bug Anthocoris nemorum, Deraeocoris ruber and Liocoris tripustulatus.
Full set of photos from this visit can be found on my Flickr site.