At Hembury Woods with a western bee fly

I spent an hour or so over at Hembury Woods in the baking sun yesterday – I had hoped to see a high brown fritillary but no luck there (it is very early in the season for them but they have already been recorded on Dartmoor this year) – instead I found a few other nice insects. The highlight for me was the Western Bee Fly which is very localised nationally.

Bombylius cansescens 1
The Western Bee Fly Bombylius canescens

Bombylius cansescens 2
The characteristic long ‘nose’ which enables it to feed inside long flowers

bombylius canescansThe UK distribution of Western Bee Fly – it has a designation of ‘Nationally Notable’ on account of its rarity

Tiger beetleHembury is also home to a strong population of tiger beetles – one of my favourites!

Cicindela camprestris
Tiger beetles – Cicindela campestris – are well distibuted across the UK but need warm and sandy soiled places

Strangalia melanura
Finally I found this long horn beetle Strangalia melanura

Strangalia melanura
Relatively common beetle in southern Britain but quite uncommon in Devon and Dartmoor

All maps are courtesy of the National Biodiversity Network

 

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