Dandelion Central

A couple of weeks ago I was taking photos in the garden and my eye was caught by a hoverfly on a dandelion flower, so I started watching it and taking some photos. I was surprised to find that there was another occupant of the flower – a spider – lurking underneath. The spider had a web from the flower to nearby objects and at one point the hoverfly got caught in it on the way to the flower, and then escaped. You’d think that would put it off, but it kept coming back even so – that flower must have had delicious nectar! A great strategy from the spider there – finding a very popular flower and carefully setting up nearby. I think the spider was pretty well fed – it was finishing off something in the first couple of shots, and would have had a go at the hoverfly I think if it hadn’t escaped, despite the size difference!


Fuzzy Buzzy

I thought I’d post a picture I took the other day of a Hoverfly close-up. It looks very fuzzy – it seems to even have hairs in its eyes! It’s sitting on one of the last of the Ragworts, which will be all over soon. Autumn is rushing in it seems. Anyway so here’s the Hoverfly, and he’s brought a few of his fuzzy friends!

Hoverfly on Ragwort:

Tree Bumblebee (I think) on Bramble:

A Solitary Bee feeling a bit the worse for wear (he flew off after a little rest, don’t worry):

And finally, this Hoverfly who’d had enough of the insect paparazzi and insisted on no more photos:

Inspired By

Shine the Divine

Dramatic Hoverfly

I got this photo of a hoverfly today. I like how clear his eyes are and how dramatic it looks with the dark background and bright yellow of the ragwort flowers.



Droneflies, a kind of hoverfly, are all around at the moment, so of course photos have been taken. They’re not bees, even though they can be mistaken for them, but they do pollinate flowers so are just as useful. They’re also kind of cute in their own way. Here are a few from around the garden.

Female Dronefly visiting Buddleia
Male Dronefly sipping nectar from Ragwort flowers
Female Dronefly taking a rest on a leaf

When is a Wasp not a Wasp?

A bit of a discussion ensued the other day when I was looking at my photos and was about to label a Common Wasp, when it turned out that it might not be a Common Wasp but a Tree Wasp. Often with wasps, the tendency is to run away and not spend time thinking about the particular type. If you look closely though, there are differences … though figuring out what the differences mean is easier said than done!

This might or might not be a Common Wasp … it has some spots between the stripes, but does that mean it’s a Common Wasp?

Common Wasp
Common Wasp? (Vespula Vulgaris)

This one is spot free, with just stripes, so it might be a Tree Wasp … or maybe not …

Tree Wasp
Tree Wasp? (Dolichovespula sylvestris)

And then there are other insects who look like wasps but aren’t wasps at all, like this sneaky hoverfly who nearly had us fooled:

Hoverfly mimicing a Wasp (Chrysotoxum cautum)
Hoverfly mimicing a Wasp (Chrysotoxum cautum)

Also, as you can probably see, these wasps like to munch on wood. They love our garden chairs & table, the shed, the old gate … etc. You have to be careful when you sit on a chair in the garden in case you sit on a wasp. I don’t think they’d be very impressed to be sat on!