Friday, August 02, 2013

Microscopic examination

Although I've not had anything like enough time available to make a serious attempt at the 1000 species in 1sq km challenge I have been keeping the list going, mainly with the contents of the moth trap. It is now on 438. Among the moths are usually some other identifiable insects and a new toy has helped pin down one of these. The flower bug Lygus pratensis is very similar to others of the genus, all of which are rather variable in colour and markings. According to this source they can be distinguished on the basis of the tiny hairs on the corium (base of the wing area). Although it is a red data book species it has spread a lot throughout southern Britain and is probably a lot more common now. In any case it was a nice subject for my new USB microscope toy which is just up to the job of picking out the necessary detail.

Lygus pratensis

On a slightly different tack I also came across a party of 6 larvae mining a sorrel leaf in our veg patch recently. A rather large larva that turns out to be this leaf-mining fly that feeds on docks, etc.

Pegomya solennis

Canon Powershot SX50 HS and USB microscope

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