Thursday, 31 May 2018

Bibio leucopterus - out in force!

After some females then some males appeared slowly over the last week there was suddenly an explosion and now the males are appearing en masse in Ross Plantation

Eumerus funeralis, Dalgety Bay, 30.v.2018

Eumerus funeralis,
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation
NOFI: two locations in Fife
NBN: very few Scottish records shown, including none from Fife!

Not the bets pics but my 87th species of hover fly in Fife (and in NT18 I think)

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Calliphora loewi, Dalgety Bay, 25/05/2018

Calliphora loewi, m.
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation
NOFI: new to Fife
NBN: widely distributed, though said to be northerly biased

The Beauty-spot Blowfly

Rhaphium crassipes, Dalgety Bay

Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation
NOFI: new for Fife
NBN: no records from central Scotland but otherwise apparently common enough

Many on low vegetation in an open clearing

Friday, 25 May 2018

Hydrotaea diabolus, Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation, 24/05/18

Hydrotaea diabolus,
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation
NOFI status - no Fife records
NBN status - 2 Scottish records

After finding a female a couple of days ago which was waiting to be identified, I ran into a male yesterday and what a fantastic fly it is! The overall impression is a glistening blue-black with a brightly flashing silver face when the light strikes it at the right angle. It has bizarrely long legs, especially the central ones, and the fore and hind legs bear weird and wonderful appendages. The central femur has a spectacular upturned hair on its apex.

The female - note pale haltere

A male

Peg leg - cilia on tibia also noteworthy

The shovel like front femur

Central femur "spur"

Shiny face

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Rust fly Psila merdaria in Dalgety Bay

Psila meridiana, m.
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation

Ross Plantation from low vegetation

Monday, 21 May 2018

Bibio leucopterus

Abundant right now in Dalgety Bay, with females on and under leaves of apparently every second low growing plant. The females don't quite match its milky-winged name but the males do a pretty good job.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Rhingia campestris

Rhingia campestris, m.
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation
Very common species.

Always one of the most entertaining looking hoverflies the tongue of Rhingia is so long it has to be folded up somewhere. At nearby Cullaloe LNR this species has been recorded feeding on the flowers of almost every flowering plant there.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Dalgety Bay Hydrophoria ruralis (Anthomyiidae)

Hydrophoria ruralis 
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation

Initially identified as H.lancifer, which I now think was incorrect.

Abundant on low foliage beside path. Strongly shining fronto-orbital plates, close large eyes and pale thoracic "stripes" catch the eye and make the fly stand out.

Typical posture and position

Dalgety Bay - Ross Plantation, Anthomyia procellaris

An explosion of Anthomyia procellaris males in the woods this lunchtime, with up to 10 on one nettle plant.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Dalgety Bay - Jassidophaga fasciata, Ferdinandea cuprea,

Jassidophaga fasciata, f.
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation
NOFI - new to Fife
NBN - scarce records, <10 Scottish

A new Big-headed Fly (Pipunculidae) was added to the county list - Jassidophaga fasciata.

The tachinid (?) with it in the photo below hasn't been ID'd.

Ferdinandea cuprea, m.
Dalgety Bay, Ross OPlantation
NOFI - one other location
NBN - scattered widely, common woodland sp.

Ferdinandea cuprea was a nice new hover fly for me in the morning sunshine today.

Dangerous small things!

ovipositor - ouch! (for piercing bugs)

Ferdinandea cuprea

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Hello, Doli - Syntormon denticulatum

Sp.: Syntormon denticulatum, f
Loc: Dalgety Bay
Grid: NT1683
Date: 5.v.18
Swept low vegetation
NOFI status: not listed
NBN status: 4 scattered Scottish records, though coastal and northern. England/Wales widespread records

A nice bronzey Dolichopodid from Dalgety Bay. Thumb-like ant2 and a very convex bronze clypeus.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Calypterate numbers

A chart of representation of fly species across the calyperates. You can see how under-represented many taxa are in Fife with, for example, only 31 of 266 UK species of tachinid recorded. Anthomyiidae don't fare much better and even Muscidae are poorly represented. In a short time additions have been made to each of these families in Fife, but there's loads left to do

NBN Fife
UK list Scot List Fife List Me Added
Hippoboscoidea Hippoboscidae 14 5 3 0 0
Nycteribiidae 3 1 1 0 0
17   4 0 0
Muscoidea Scathophagidae 54 43 12 3 0
Anthomyiidae 245 178 59 16 6
Fanniidae 60 30 19 7 1
Muscidae 289 172 86 34 8
648 423 176 60 15
Oestroidea Calliphoridae 38 30 13 11 2
Rhinophoridae 8 4 3 3 1
Sarcophagidae 61 21 7 3 0
Tachinidae 266 85 31 20 7
Oestridae 11 3 2 0 0
384 143 56 37 10
1049 566 236 97 25

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Phaonia serva, Dalgety Bay

A couple of males in Ross Plantation 1/5/18

First to catch the eye are the shining fronto-orbital plate between the eyes and the yellow calypterae/wing bases.

They have hairy eyes, pre-sutural acros and 2 pairs of pre-scutellar acros. Antenna is plumose but not much. t3 has one pd bristle, as expected of a Phaonia.

Thorax has a small central pale patch with quite substantial dark stripes beside (true in both specimens from this date)

Skidmore notes this is an anthophile which eats a lot of pollen. It was univoltine, emerging late May in the north of England and gone by July. Last year I had this in April so this is later, but still way earlier than noted by Skidmore.