May Bugs

Finally a few new bugs in the garden these last few days. Tipula vernalis is a cranefly that emerges in the spring, unlike many of the Genus that appear in numbers in the late summer and autumn. Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum) was new to the list, as was a hoverfly Syrphus ribesii (separated from the very similar Syrphus vitripennis by leg colour). Representing the insectivores, the first Harlequin Ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) were back, as was a Turf-running Spider ( Philodromus cespitum) and Brown Lacewing (Micromus variegatus) - all seen for the first time this year. Moths are not yet plentiful, so this Common Pug moth (Eupithecia vulgata) was a welcome addition to the list.

Finally a true “May Bug”, the Common Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), that was found legs-in-the-air by friends on their bathroom floor. These big bugs were formerly very common in UK and regarded as a pest (the larvae particularly), but insecticides in the 1960’s decimated the population. They are now making something of a comeback, so hopefully I’ll find one on my own patch one day.

Away from the bugs, the skies now have Swifts, Swallows, House Martins and the first Common Pipistrelle bats. A hunting Hobby (Falco Subbuteo) was new for the garden - I’ll be happy if it sticks around; the local hirundines less so.