The Shropshire African Watering Hole


On a couple of days on our recent trip to Shropshire I was unable to do much because of health limitations.

This proved to be no hardship. I contented myself by sitting in the garden in front of a small patch of Pearly Everlasting.
I could have been watching the comings and goings at an African waterhole!
Certainly no wildebeest, crocodiles or elephants, but a similarly diverse and fascinating cast of visitors - just on a much smaller scale.
No leopard came by, but instead a hornet. And then an extraordinary insect that looked as if it would be at home in a David Attenborough documentary on somewhere exotic like the Amazonia. A Gasteruption wasp carrying a javelin on its back - an egg laying structure as long as its body (picture 6)
No cheetah pursued a gazelle in a twisting and turning chase of life and death. But instead an incredible variety and abundance of small, buzzing, flying things made their appearance on this tiny stage.
So if your mobility is limited, or if it's not, sit down for a while, have a look around. See what there is to be seen.
(These are some of the insects photographed over the course of an hour)
1 Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus
2 Holly Blue - Celastrina argiolus
3 Small White - Pieris rapae
4 Beetle - Scraptiidae?
5 Hornet - Vespa crabro
6 Parasitic wasp - Gasteruption, jaculator?
7 Parasitic wasp - Gasteruption sp.
8 Mason Wasp - Ancistrocerus sp.
9.Mason Wasp - Ancistrocerus sp.
10 Furrow Bee - Halictus sp.
11 Batman Hoverfly - Myathropa florea
12 Footballer Hoverfly - Helophilus pendulus
13 thick-legged hoverfly - syritta pipiens
14 Pellucid Fly - Volucella pellucens
15 Tapered Drone Fly - Eristalis pertinax
16 Orange-belted Hoverfly - Xylota segnis
17 Green bottle - Lucilia sp
18 Dagger fly - Empis sp
19 Common Tachnid - Tachina fera
20 Tachnid fly - Eriothrix rufomaculata
Get this