North Cave Wetlands – 05/07/12

With a misty start to the day and the threat of thunderstorms, I decided to keep fairly local and headed for North Cave Wetlands. Shortly after arrival the mist suddenly cleared, the sun came out, and insect activity increased dramatically.

It was good to see some large dragonflies active with Emperor Dragonflies Anax imperator patrolling along the north edge of Reedbed Lake and the Lilly Pond. Several Four-spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata were active on the Lilly Pond and adjacent ponds. A mature male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum was seen basking on the bare earth of the eastern footpath. There were numerous Common Blue Damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum around the site, with lesser numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and a small number of Azure Damselflies Coenagrion puella on the Lilly Pond.

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

Four-spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculataFour-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerumCommon Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans

Several butterfly species were on the wing, with Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Ringlets Aphantopus hyperantus being the most recent. A single Comma Polygonia c-album looked to be freshly emerged but eluded the camera. Common Blues Polyommatus icarus were in evidence along the northern edge of the reserve. An extremely worn Brown Argus Aricia agestis was  also noted near the dragonfly pools.

Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtinaMeadow Brown – Maniola jurtina

Ringlet - Aphantopus hyperantusRinglet – Aphantopus hyperantus

The larvae of Yellow-tail Moth was strikingly obvious, on foliage adjacent to the walk-way into the southern hide on main lake.

Yellow-tail Moth Caterpillar - Euproctis similisYellow-tail Moth Caterpillar – Euproctis similis

There were plenty of other insects and spiders around the reserve to observe, I will let the photographs of these do the talking. As always some of these species are difficult to separate from each other, so don’t rely on my identification

Yellow Dung-fly - Scathophaga stercorariaYellow Dung-fly – Scathophaga stercoraria

Hoverfly - Eristalis pertinaxHoverfly – Eristalis pertinax

Hoverfly - Eristalis tenaxHoverfly – Eristalis tenax

Hoverfly - Volucella bombaylansHoverfly – Volucella bombaylans

Greenbottle - Lucilia caesarGreenbottle – Lucilia caesar

Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura mirabilisNursery Web Spider – Pisaura mirabilis

Pied Shieldbug - Tritomegas bicolor(final instar larvae)Pied Shieldbug – Tritomegas bicolor(final instar larvae)

Wasp Beetle - Clytra arietisWasp Beetle – Clytra arietis