Tuesday, September 27, 2016

House circuit (18): wasp, fly and two plants

Note: House Circuit posts are drawn from the many 50 metre walks I make every day around our house.

On August 10th 2016 I saw a solitary wasp attacking a solitary bee as big as itself in a flower of Geranium ‘Claridge Druce’.  I grabbed both plus flower; one stung me in the palm, but later I managed to identify the wasp as Cerceris rybyensis, the ornate tailed digger wasp.  This makes a burrow in the ground which it stocks with paralyzed solitary bees to feed its young.

The wasp was named by Linnaeus after a place called Ryby near Stockholm in Sweden which the great taxonomist visited with his friends.

The above is an Anthomyiid fly, Anthomyia ? procellaris I think, though there are a number of lookalikes.  I once bred several from an old cormorants nest that was kindly donated to me from the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and contained many invertebrates.  For a full account see here:


Wild marjoram and carder bee


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