All of these pictures on these pages have the Latin names included where possible. Some images are sent to the appropriate Facebook Group, for identification, these include. Orkney Flowers and there habitat, Orkney Fungi & Lichen, Orkney Insect open Forum, UK Hoverfly Group, plus a few more. Date & Location, including 10 figure UK Grid reference, are given for most post’s.

 The Ruff, St Margaret’s Hope, To Orkney Insects Open Forum.

The bushes along the footpath at the Ruff are buzzing, full of Bumblebees and other insects, the warm days bring them out all eager to collect the nectar & pollen, although some are there to feed on other insects.

The Ruff.

Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum and Right.

The Common Carder Bumblebee is one of two common bumblebees to have a ginger thorax. The other, the Tree Bumblebee has a white 'tail'. There are other less-common carder bees. Although the abdomen also has ginger bands the hairless black bands tend to dominate. This species has a fairly long tongue and males can be distinguished from females by their longer antennae. Carder Bumblebees earn this name from their habit of combing material together (carding) to create a covering for the cells containing the larvae. This species usually creates its nests above ground, often in grass tussocks, in old mouse runs through grass, in tangles of vegetation or just under the surface of the soil. Colonies vary in size and can contain up to 200 workers. Only young queens survive the winter; they establish new nests in spring.

Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum

Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum

. ND 44519 93792 the Hope.

UK Hoverflies & Orkney Insects Open Forum

leucozona lucorum Hoverfly .at snowberry

leucozona lucorum Hoverfly .at snowberry

A striking hoverfly with a white band across the upper abdomen and black wing patches that align with the black abdominal band. In the male, the white band on tergite 2 can often be darker. May to August peaking in May and June. It is seen mainly in the spring as it suns on vegetation. Rare fresh specimens in August indicate a partial second brood. UK Status A common hoverfly throughout Britain. Thanks to Roger Morris for ID

Friday 14 August /2020 From the Garden in the Hope.

Angle Shade caterpillar, Phlogophora meticulosa

The caterpillars grow up to 45mm and may be green or mixed shades of brown, sometimes with hints of yellow. The head colour varies from green to mottled brown and a fine, pale dorsal line runs down its back.

Angle Shades Moths are most active at night, being readily attracted to light and sugary scents. The moths are essential pollinators and have a vital role in the food chain.

Wednesday19 August 2020 , Posted to Orkney Insects Open Forum

Vapourer moth caterpillar Orgyia antiqua

Vapourer moths Orgyia antiqua are widespread and common throughout the UK, especially in parks and gardens. Larvae may be found at any time between May-August on almost any deciduous tree or shrub. Caterpillars have a blueish-grey body with red spots, a row of 4 tufts of pale-yellow bristles along their back and several single brown or black tufts.

Dolichovespula sylvestris

Dolichovespula sylvestris

Length 22 mm. The face of this species is usually clear yellow with one dot. Antennae yellow right at the base. Thorax with hairs at the sides and two yellow spots at the rear. May to August. Can be very aggressive. It builds its nest in trees and bushes as well as underground. Adults forage flowers such as Wild Angelica, Water Figwort and Rosebay Willowherb.

Alastair Forsyth.  I suspect Dolichovespula sylvestris but I can't see enough to be sure

Thursday 27  August 2020 Posted to Orkney Insects Open Forum

The Antler moth, Cerapteryx graminis

Antler moth, Cerapteryx graminis, is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is a common species throughout most of Europe but is lacking in the very dry southern regions. The northernmost occurrence is in Iceland, and above the Arctic circle. It also occurs in Siberia and  North Mongolia. Wikipedia

Saturday 29 August,

Spotlight on The Little Tern.

The little tern (Sternula albifrons)

The little tern (Sternula albifrons)

One of the UK’s smallest seabirds, weighing only 40-60g, Adults have a black cap and a distinctive white forehead. Its bill is yellow with a black tip. Little Terns return to number 4 Barrier in Orkney in April/May to breed. Courtship starts with an aerial display involving the male calling and carrying fish to attract a mate. A female will chase him up high before he descends and back on the beach, she may accept the fish offered. Once an offering has been accepted they will then mate. Their nests are shallow scrapes on sand or shingle beaches, spits or inshore islets where they normally lay 2-3 eggs. Feeding takes place just offshore in shallow water along sheltered coasts with a diet of fish, crustacean and invertebrates. They can be seen plunge-diving for fish along the shoreline. Feeding close to the shore is a foraging behaviour not seen in other seabirds which may fly long distances for food. This means Little Terns are vulnerable to disturbance where they feed and a lack of prey food close to their breeding colony. The small colony on No 4 Barrier South Ronaldsay is the farthest North colony in the United Kingdom. Migration

Notes.  Little Terns winter in West Africa and migrate thousands of miles to nest on our beaches from April to August. A Little Tern breeding in 2018 in North Wales was found to be 25 years old. It will have travelled at least 200,000 miles in its lifetime.

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