Me in Dorset

Me in Dorset
Just for fun here’s a few shots taken in Dorset, of me in the field 🙂

Moor Copse – 5th September 2009

Moor Copse - 5th September 2009
Visited one of my favourite sites for entomology this afternoon on a fairly sunny, mild and windy day. It was a huge contrast with the previous visit 2 weeks ago – the angellica flowers were going to seed and the number of flies was way down. All I saw was a lot of Tachina fera ...

Rhamphina pedemontana

Rhamphina pedemontana
This is one of my favourite tachinids – a species from montane habitats with a huge proboscis that it keeps hinged under the body. It was collected in the French Pyrennes on umbellifer flowers bordering an alpine meadow. Eurithia sp. were also flying at the same time and look superficially very similar.

Hook, Dorset – 29th August 2009

Hook, Dorset - 29th August 2009
The weather today was a bit windy and cloudy but in a sunny spell we went to Hook, near Beaminster and had a short walk along the forest track. The angelica was flowering well but despite this the flies were mainly boring Eristalis, Phaonia & Lucilia. I did get a few Tachina fera but the stars ...

Moor Copse reserve – 23rd August 2009

Moor Copse reserve - 23rd August 2009
The day started a little cloudy and windy but I decided to reexplore an area of Moor Copse that I had surveyed a few days previously. The main flowery meadow is usually too overgrown, marshy and populated by blood-sucking Clegg flies (Haematopota sp.) for my liking so I avoid it and just collect around the ...

Hartslock & Warburg reserves – 22nd August 2009 1

Hartslock & Warburg reserves - 22nd August 2009
Went out for an excellent day of entomology with Trstan Bantock ( today. Hartslock turned up the usual things but I did find a very nice Exorista which looks like larvarum at first glance. Butterflies were fairly good with a few unusually small Small Heaths and a good number of Adonis Blues plus a female ...

Warburg nature reserve – 16th August 2009

Warburg nature reserve - 16th August 2009
A lovely sunny, warm day today so I drove out to BBOWT’s Warburg nature reserve near Bix, Henley-on-Thames. I hadn’t visited Warburg for years but it has always been one of my favourite entomology sites. Today didn’t disappoint either with plenty of grassland flowers lining the rides and scrubby areas. Tachinids were in abbundance but ...

Eriothrix prolixa at Hartslock

I always like to go along to moth-trapping events and keep a good lookout for unusual tachinids that have been flushed out and drawn into the lights. During the BBOWT mothathon on the 14th August I noticed a small tachinid-like fly that behaved like an Eriothrix rufomaculata but just didn’t look like this very common ...

The Hornet Robber fly – 8th August 2009

The Hornet Robber fly - 8th August 2009
Today I spent another very pleasant afternoon at my friend’s meadow in Cholsey. His local speciality is Asilus crabroniformis, the Hornet Robber fly, one of Britain’s largest flies and I managed to get a few rushed photos of one (see below). We also saw another Clouded Yellow butterfly on the meadow and I managed to ...

Red Cow – 25th July 2009

Red Cow - 25th July 2009
Today was forecast to be one of the few dry days of the coming week so I was determined to get out and do some serious entomology. While having breakfast I got a message from Tony Rayner, in Cholsey, that his meadow was humming with activity – so I decided to pop over and check ...

Pamber Forest – 18th July 2009

Pamber Forest - 18th July 2009
I was really keen to take a trip down to Pamber Forest because at this time last year I had seen all kinds of interesting things there. Sadly, the weather clouded up as I drove down there and the sun hardly shone for the 2 hours I was on site. That said, I saw a ...

Tachinids at the Moscow Zoological Museum

Tachinids at the Moscow Zoological Museum
I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon at the Moscow Zoological Museum during my recent holiday in Russia. I concentrated on photographing as many interesting species as I could and documenting every drawer for future reference. I am very keen to expand my knowledge of Palearctic tachinids by obtaining specimens from any collectors who ...

Hartslock – 12th July 2009

Moor Copse – 11-12 July 2009

Moor Copse - 11-12 July 2009
I made 2 quick visits to Moor Copse this weekend – the first was in light drizzle and the second was in full sun. On both visits I concentrated on visiting the Hogweeds that grow along the margins of the main wet meadow. Diptera: Stratiomys potamida was seen on both days, along with Phasia obesa ...

Red-necked footman moth at Hartslock 2

Red-necked footman moth at Hartslock

Bombus hypnorum at Moor Copse

Bombus hypnorum at Moor Copse
In the afternoon I decided to head out to one of my favourite local nature reserves – Moor Copse. Despite being pestered by clegg flies (Haematopota sp.) I managed to see some really nice insects – most notable of which was Bombus hypnorum, a recent visitor to the UK. The only problem was accidentally setting ...

Is art worth killing for?

It might sound like a strange question to ask an entomologist but a recent debate on bug_girl’s blog got me thinking. Obviously, I have no qualms about collecting insects for my studies because my work contributes to scientific knowledge and indirectly benefits the things I am interested in. But are art displays like those by ...


These photos are of my holdings (9 specimens) in the family Pantophthalmidae, originating from French Guiana and obtained partly from Philippe Soler (Le Planeur Bleu museum, Cacao) and partly from Jean Cerda’s Malaise trap samples. This neotropical family is related to the soldier flies (Stratiomyidae) but the pantophthalmids are renowned for being some of the ...

Dorset 2

Just having a few days away in Dorset, visiting my parents. Lovely warm, sunny weather so far and the scenery in wonderful down here. First trip was to Powerstock Common and although we didn’t see the Marsh Fritillaries (having a bad few years apparently) we did see a few Wood Whites and my favourite – ...

Palearctic reorganisation finished!

Palearctic reorganisation finished!
Ta Da!! I have finally arranged my palearctic specimens into their correct drawers – alphabetically by genus. It started off in 8 drawers but allowing for gaps and slack-space it finally stretched to 11 drawers (195 species). Amazing really – I didn’t know I had so many tachinids!! The first drawer in the photo is ...