Boultham Moor Macro Life Safari

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Boultham Moor Macro Life Safari

Gorgeous 15th March 2017, sun shining, butterflies taking advantage, a brimstone, a peacock, and numerous tortoiseshell, so nice to see. Blackthorn, the odd tree in full bloom, the rest, some 50+ still in bud. Loads of leaf beetles, and a white-tailed bumblebee. Flies in great numbers, a pretty one too, a hover, its vernacular name, “The Marmalade Hoverfly”, just the one, found wide spread. Plum trees, all in full bloom, hosting a leaf beetle party. A small colony of black ants under a discarded piece of plywood, at 17° C in the shade, I would imaging the heat under it would was a lot hotter, indeed, sufficient enough to bring some early workers up from the depths. Grass weevils, and those hosted by gorse were in great abundance. At least three species of aphids, and one psyllid, the latter commonly called, ‘plant louse’, often confused with bark louse.

The psyllid in this instance is extremely common and ubiquitous to boot, albeit its named host plant is the common stinging nettle, which it is named after, as in, “Trioza urticae“. Psyllids are member of the order Hemiptera in which there are 4 suborders, and  the one particular to them is ‘Sternorrhyncha’, which has 5 superfamilies, the one in bold text being relevant in this case:
. Aleyrodoidea – Whitefly
. Aphidoidea – Aphids
. Coccoidea – Scale insects
. Phylloxeroidea – Related to aphids
. Psylloidea – Plant louse
Spiders were very active, some nice photos taken. A few thrips came to my sample tray. It is a species of thrips, which is called the thunder fly in the UK. Most annoying on humid days when they seem to have a liking for humans. A couple of rove beetles. Stenocranus minutus, and some mid instar planthoppers were also tapped to my tray, all from grass.

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