Insects in Devon Woods
Once again a huge thank you to our amazing photographer Geoff Foale for his documentation of insects in some Devon woods. Geoff recorded a female wasp spider in Woodleigh Wood which he said ‘I have been searching for 10 years and this is the first one which I have encountered’.
Wasp Spider – Argiope bruennichi
Geoff goes on to explain It is a pity that horseflies are such a nuisance when they look so attractive. But in fairness to them, most horseflies target larger prey such as farm animals and horses etc. It is only these Clegs which particularly go for humans and even then, it is only the females which bite.
I am not totally certain about the Allygus mixtus Leafhopper. It looks correct to me but it hasn’t been double checked yet and there is another almost identical Allygus species. Both of them are quite variable in their markings. The Potato Leafhopper should be correct because it is quite distinctive.
Xanthogramma pedissequum hoverflies are widespread but never plentiful
Leafhopper – Allygus mixtus probably Notch-horned Cleg Horsefly – Haematopota pluvialis Potato Leafhopper – Eupteryx aurata Xanthogramma pedissequum
Geoof also took some photos of from Aveton Wood, South Devon SX729506
The Dicranopalpus harvestmen arrived in the UK from Morocco around the 1950’s or possibly a little earlier, and have gradually been expanding their range. Identification was easy because it was thought that there was only one species. But more recent investigations have shown that there are actually two almost identical species.
Males with a dark ‘eye mask’ are D. ramosus but males without that variable mask could be D. caudatus or ramosus. Females really require microscopic examination. They are fairly common in the Aveton Wood general area and I found three of them on that particular day
Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus Deraeocoris ruber Dock Bug – Coreus marginatus nymph stage Harvestman – Dicranopalpus ramosus or caudatus
Harvestman – Dicranopalpus ramosus or caudatus Meliscaeva auricollis Minettia plumicornis Moth – Dingy Footman on Ragwort
Parent Bug – Elasmucha grisea Picture-winged Flies – Terellia tussilaginis Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria Tortoise Bug – Eurygaster testudinaria nymph stage
Thank you Geoff for your stunning photos, your knowledge, and for labelling all the photos that you send in.
If you have any photos of your visits to our woods then please do contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Development officer South West