All within 50 metres of my office

Yesterday was a good day for insects at my office at Parke! Managed to find the following beasties within 50 yards of my desk.

Wool carder bee 1
This is a solitary bee called the woolly carder bee Anthidium manicatum. It has yellow spots down the side of the abdomen, a yellow face and white hairy legs

Wool carder bee 2
I couldn’t initially identify it even though it is very distinctive so I took to Twitter for some help and fortunately Ian Beavis curator at the Tunbridge Wells Museum told me what it was – thanks Ian. They make their nest from the hairs of various plants – thus the name – more details here.

Anthidium manicatum
Here is the national distribution courtesy of the National Biodiversity Network

I also checked out the species on Steven Falks amazing Flickr site – a photographic library of all British and Irish bees – nearly 300 species – see here.

Vapourer moth caterpillar
Later in the day an NT member can to the office asking various questions and he had a small caterpillar crawling on his arm. Here it is – it is a vapourer moth caterpillar – very hairy with ‘antlers’ and 4 distinct clumps of yellow hairs

Speckled bush cricket
Found this speckled bush cricket in the Walled Garden – huge antennae

Small skipper 2
Along with this small skipper

Finally AJ found a golden haired long horn beetle which flew into him – I have written about this species before – see here.

That’s what I call a good day in the office!

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