Male Speckled Bush Cricket
Speckled Bush Cricket







Female Speckled Bush Cricket








Oak Bush Cricket  (Meconema thalassinum)
A completely arboreal small pale green Bush Cricket, growing to a length of 13-17mm. Found on trees in Oak woodland, as well as hedgerows and garden shrubs, but feeding mainly carnivorously on other insects. Both sexes are fully winged. Seen from July - October. Eggs are laid in tree bark at the end of the summer and the young emerge the following June.





Male Southern Oak Bush Cricket 
Southern Oak Bush Cricket  (Meconema meridionale)
This is the UK's only other completely arboreal Bush Cricket, growing to a length of 14-17mm. Found on deciduous trees in Oak woodland, as well as hedgerows and garden shrubs. This small and pale green species is only readily distinguishable from the Oak Bush Cricket as a fully grown adult. The wings of the Southern Oak Bush Cricket remain as little flaps even as an adult. Any wingless specimens found in autumn are likely to be SOB Crickets and not OB Crickets. Originally from the Mediterranean, this cricket was only recently first recorded in Kent in 2005.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3


Male Southern Oak Bush Cricket in residential garden in Kent.








Female Long-winged Conehead Cricket 
Long-winged Conehead Cricket  (Conocephalus discolor)

The Long-winged Conehead Cricket is a green bush cricket found in grassland and woodland areas as well as damp habitats of the South and East of England. Growing up tp 17-19mm in length, they are one of the smaller bush crickets. They are identified by their green colour, brown-striped pointed head, and long brown wings. The Short-winged Conehead Cricket is very similar but its wings are barely half the length of its body.
It feeds largely on grasses but will also eat small insects as well. Nymphs emerge in May and adults can be found from the end of July. They are almost silent to human ears and produce only a feint hissing or buzzing sound. Eggs are laid in grass stems at the end of the summer. 

LINK 1


Female Long-winged Conehead Cricket 







Cockchaffer / aka Maybug, Doodlebug  (Melolontha melolontha)

The Cockchaffer is a medium sized beetle of 25-30mm. The sexes can be identified by the number of "leaves" on their antennae. Males have seven leaves, but the females have only two. Adult beetle appear between the end of April and May, and live for around six weeks. Adult beetles feed on oak leaves and conifer needles.

Female beetles tend to stay around trees. The female will lay up to 80 eggs during several stages of her adult life. Eggs are usually laid in fields where the grubs will feed on plant roots. 





Common Pill Woodlouse   (Armadillidium Vulgare)

Growing up to 18mm and found across the UK, the Common Pill Woodlouse is more frequently encountered in the south and east of England. Usually they are grey in colour but sometimes pink specimens are found like the one pictured above. When disturbed these woodlouse can roll into a perfect ball to protect themselves from predators. 



A  40mm Centipede

Centipede 

There are 57 different species of Centipede found in the UK. Many are very small and can only be positively identified under a microscope. Despite common belief, no Centipede has 100 legs. In fact all Centipedes have an odd number of pairs of legs, ranging from 15 pairs of legs to 177 pairs of legs. Each segment of the body has just one pair of legs, unlike Millipedes that have two pairs of legs on many of their body segments. Centipedes are predominantly carnivorous, and they have a pair of front claws or forcipules that can inject a paralysing venom into their prey.


Brown Centipede  -  Lithobius forficatus
An 18-30mm Centipede with stocky build and 15 pairs of legs. Usually found in damp places under logs, stones and leaf litter.








14-Spot Ladybird   (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata)

The 14-spot ladybird is a small ladybird species. They can be yellow or black with between four and 14 black or yellow spots. These spots are almost rectangular in shape.












Small 30mm Millipede
Millipedes
There are 62 known species of Millipede in the UK. There are over 10,000 species worldwide! Millipedes feed on decaying matter and rotting vegetation and play a vital role in breaking down garden waste. They are generally slow moving and are often found under leaf litter, in compost heaps or  or behind loose tree bark. During the winter they may also be found in an inactive state buried in the soil. In the UK the different species vary from around 2cm - 6cm in length. The young resemble the adults but with fewer body segments. New segments are added as the Millipede grows. 2-3 years is probably the average lifespan.




A larger 60mm Millipede

A few species of Millipede in the UK can be considered as pests by gardeners because they don't confine themselves to eating decaying matter. Some will also eat seedlings, roots and bulbs as well.





Bluebottle Blow Fly 
The Bluebottle is a large fly growing up to 12mm in length. They are often found flying around the house making an irritating buzzing sound. These flies can lay up to 600 eggs which can hatch in just 48 hours in hot weather. The eggs will produce maggots that feed on decaying flesh. The adult flies however, feed on nectar. These flies are attracted to food, garbage and faeces as a potential egg-laying site. Once food is detected adult flies release a pheromone which alerts and attracts other flies.






Violet Ground Beetle -  (Carabus violaceous)
There are two types of Violet Ground Beetle in the UK, Carabus violaceous and Carabus problematicusBoth are very similar in appearance and both grow to around 30mm in length, making them some of our largest beetles. They can be distinguished by close inspection of their elytra (wing-cases). Violaceous are smoother whereas problematicus have more defined ridges and dimples. Both types of Violet Ground Beetle are woodland or heathland species, but both can also be found in gardens too. These beetles are nocturnal hunters, feeding on unwanted garden pests such as fly larvae, slugs and other insects. They will also on occasion feed on over-ripe fruit. During the day these beetles usually hide away under logs and stones. Some specimens are arboreal and will spend their time in trees feeding on tree slugs and sap-runs from trees.  














Leaf Beetle  -  (Galeruca tanaceti)
These Leaf Beetles are found throughout the UK and can be abundant in the SE. They are often found in grassy dry meadows and fields. They range from 6-11mm in length but gravid females can be longer when the abdomen is full of eggs and protrudes from the wing cases.


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Leaf Beetle  -  (Chrysolina banksi)
These Leaf Beetles are found around coastal areas of England particularly in the SW & SE. They are usually found in open habitat and woodland. They range from 6-10mm in length. The main colour is metallic bronze / green and the legs are orange.




Leaf Beetle  -  (Chrysolina banksi)







Cabbage-stem Flea Beetle  -  (Psylliodes chrysocephala)
These tiny beetles are just 3 - 4.5mm in length and are variable in colour. Like fleas in adult form they have very powerful hind legs that they use to jump great distances for their size to evade potential predators. Unlike fleas though these beetles feed on the leaves of cabbage and other plants in the Brassica family, leaving tiny unsightly holes. The larvae feed on the stems. The larvae can be treated with parasitic nematodes.





Black-Headed Cardinal Beetle  -  (Pyrochroa coccinea)
There are three types of Cardinal Beetle in the UK. The Black-Headed Cardinal Beetle can be distinguished by its size (up to 20mm) and its black head. Common or Red-Headed Cardinal Beetles (Pyrochroa serraticornis) obviously have a red head, and the Scarce Cardinal Beetle (Schizotus pectinicornis) are smaller and only grow to 7-9mm, and also have a black spot in the middle of their pronotum. Cardinal Beetles are carnivores and live on smaller insects. The larvae are long and flat and develop under loose bark of broad-leaved trees. Cardinal Beetles are sometimes confused with the smaller Lilly Beetle, which is regarded as a pest by gardeners, but Cardinal Beetles have comb-like antennae.



Black-Headed Cardinal Beetle taking flight






Male Scorpion Fly

Scorpion Fly  (Panorpa communis
This is the most common of three species of Scorpion Fly (Panorpa Sp) found within the UK. All of which are very difficult to distinguish and can only be separated by close examination of the sexual organs under a microscope. These flies have a wing-span of around 35mm and they are mainly scavengers, feeding on dead insects, which they regularly steal from spider's webs. They will also feed on rotting fruit and even bird droppings. They are weak fliers and are often found in shady areas of hedgerows, nettle-beds and gardens. The larvae live in soil and leaf litter.



Male Scorpion Fly

The male Scorpion Fly presents the female with a gift of a dead insect or drops of saliva to placate the female and avoid being eaten by her before attempting to mate. These insects are harmless to humans and do not possess any form of sting. The scorpion-like tail on the male is in fact its genitalia. Females have a straight tail.






Hoverfly
There are over 280 different species of Hoverfly in the UK. Despite some species being hornet or wasp mimics in appearance, these flies are completely harmless to humans. 







Female St. Mark's Fly
St. Mark's Fly   (Bibio marci)
The St. Mark's Fly is one of 20 species of fly from the Family Bibionidae in the UK. These are species of true fly known as Hawthorn Flies. The 14mm females look very different from the 12mm males and have small heads with smaller eyes. The smaller males have larger heads with bulbous eyes. St. Mark's Flies appear around St. Mark's Day on the 25th April, and can be seen throughout May. Adults feed on nectar and are therefore important pollinators of trees, flowers and crops. Adults only live for about a week or two. After mating the females lay their eggs in soil before they die. Larvae feed on roots, grasses, rotting vegetation and leaf mould and are common around compost heaps. As well as gardens St. Mark's Flies can be found on grassland, wetland, hedges and woodland edges.




Red & Black Froghopper    (Cercopis vulnerata)
Red & Black Froghopper    (Cercopis vulnerata)
The Red & Black Froghopper is one of our largest Homopterans (Leafhopper bugs) at 9-11mm. There are a few very similar species in Europe but in the UK they are unmistakable. Found in Woodland clearings, grassland and meadows from April to August, resting on the stems of grass and low growing vegetation. The nymphs live underground feeding on plant roots.






Dark-Edged Bee-Fly    (Bombylius major)
Dark-Edged Bee-Fly    (Bombylius major)
These harmless flies may look scary with their orange and black colours, and their long proboscis but they can't sting or bite humans and actually feed on nectar. The larvae of the Bee-Fly feeds on wasp and bee larvae. The Dark-Edged Bee-Fly is the largest and most common of the 12 Bee-Fly species in the UK. They emerge in early spring and often feed on Primrose nectar.





The harmless Dark-Edged Bee-Fly    (Bombylius major)


LINK 1     LINK 2     LINK 3





Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle    (Agapanthia villosovirdescens)
These longhorn beetles grow to a maximum length of around 22mm, but their black and white banded antennae grow even longer than the beetle's body. They are found in spring and summer in damp meadows and hedgerows. Adults feed mainly on Cow Parsley, Nettles and Hogweed, whilst the larvae can be found on various plants including thistles. After mating the female will bore into the stem of thistles and other herbaceous plants to lay her eggs. Despite their impressive size and distinctive markings, these beetles are completely harmless to humans.
LINK 1     LINK 2




Common Green Lacewing    (Chrysoperla carnea)
There are 18 species of Lacewing in the UK. They are extremely difficult to tell apart. The Common Green Lacewing is usually green in colour but blue specimens do occur. Older specimens turn yellow / brown and often develop red spots when they hibernate over winter. They have two sets of transparent veined-wings and large, bulbous, copper-coloured eyes. They have a body-length of around 10mm but the wings can make their total length around 20mm. As larvae they feed on aphids and other tiny insects and are a great biological pest control for the garden as are ladybirds. Adults also feed on nectar and pollen from flowers. Lacewings are weak fliers and are easy prey for creatures that hunt on the wing such as birds, wasps and dragonflies. The Common Green Lacewing can be found all year round and is the only Lacewing that hibernates as an adult. Peak periods are from May to September.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3



Pellucid HoverFly  -  (Volucella pellecens)

Pellucid HoverFly    (Volucella pellecens)
The Pellucid Fly or Pellucid Hoverfly is a large and fairly distinctive species of fly found across the UK in hedgerows and woodlands. It is sometimes called the Great Pied Hoverfly. They have a large ivory-coloured band across the abdomen and large dark spots on the wings, and a wingspan of around 30mm. The body-length is 13-17mm. The larvae live in the nests of social wasps and bees, and feed on waste products and the larvae of the bees / wasps. The other species which can be confused with this one is the Leucozona lucorum which is smaller in size.




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