Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris) Summer Isles & Cavenham Heath NR

These photos were taken in the Summer isles , but I have also seen one in Cavenham heath NR but failed to get a photo before it flew off .

Tiger Beetle

The Green Tiger Beetle is a common ground beetle of heathland, moorland, sandy grassland and sand dunes. Often seen in bright, sunny conditions during the spring and summer, the Green Tiger Beetle is a fast, agile hunter, running across the ground to catch its invertebrate prey, including spiders, caterpillars and ants. It is well-equipped to tackle its prey with a ferocious set of jaws and long legs that give it an impressive turn of speed (it’s one of our fastest insects). When disturbed, they will often fly a short distance before running away.

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Deer Botfly -Cephenemyia (Summer Isles)

This photo was taken this summer at the top of Stac pollaidh in the Summer Isles.

Deer Bot Flies

Deer Botfly is a parasite that needs to hover around the face of a deer so they can spray their eggs into the nostrils of the poor unsuspecting deer.

Once the eggs make it into the cervids internal system, they will migrate to the animals uterus where they will feed and go through their life stages. Once they are ready to leave the host, they will find their way back up to the tongue of the deer species where they will eventually get spit back out into the environment. At this point they spend 2-3 weeks in the soil before emerging as the adult version you see above. The adults are non-feeding so they have short time to find a mate…and a deer so they can pass their fertilized eggs on and continue the cycle. Perhaps this is why the Deer Botfly needs to be so quick?

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Thistle Gall (Cavenham Heath NR)

The Gall is Caused by the Thistle Gall Fly – Urophora cardui  which
lays its eggs on Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense). After hatching, the larvae burrow into the stem of the plant and form a gall (or swelling).

Thistle gall caused by a gall wasp

Thistle gall caused by a gall wasp

Crabro crirarius wasp (Cavenham Heath NR)

Crabro crirarius wasp with spade like front legs

Crabro crirarius wasp with spade like front legs which you can just about make out in the photos , they are grey in colour.

Crabro crirarius wasp with spade like front legs

Distribution
A local species but widely distributed throughout much of Britain and the Channel Islands.

Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being threatened.

Habitat
This wasp is mainly associated with light, sandy soils, such as lowland heaths and coastal dunes and landslips. However, it is also encountered on heavier soils, being known, for example, from open woodland and chalk grassland.

Flight period
Apparently single-brooded; late June to mid-September.

Prey collected
Paralysed Diptera of the families Therevidae, Asilidae, Empididae, Syrphidae and the superfamily Muscoidea (Richards, 1980).

Nesting biology
The nest burrows are excavated in the soil and extend for 15-20 cm. Each main burrow ends in a cell, and later two or three cells are constructed at the end of short, lateral branches (Lomholdt, 1976).The cells are provisioned with five to eight flies (Lomholdt, 1976). Continental nests have also been found in decayed wood (Kohl, 1915); indeed, British specimens of this wasp have occasionally been seen alighting on wood.

Flowers visited
This species mainly visits species of umbellifers (Apiaceae), including wild angelica, wild parsnip, hogweed and wild carrot. It also visits creeping thistle.

Oak, English (Quercus robur)

Value to wildlife
Oak forests provide a habitat rich in biodiversity; they support more life forms than any other native trees. They host hundreds of species of insect, supplying many British birds with an important food source. In autumn mammals such as badgers and deer take advantage of the falling acorns.

Flower and leaf buds of English oak and sessile oak are the foodplants of the caterpillars of purple hairstreak butterflies.

The soft leaves of English oaks breakdown with ease in autumn and form a rich leaf mould beneath the tree, supporting invertebrates, such as the stag beetle, and numerous fungi, like the oakbug milkcap. Holes and crevices in the tree bark are perfect nesting spots for the pied flycatcher or marsh tit. Several British bat species may also roost in old woodpecker holes or under loose bark, as well as feeding on the rich supply of insects in the tree canopy.

English oak is a large deciduous tree up to 20-40m tall.

The leaves are around 10cm long with 4-5 deep lobes with smooth edges. Leaf-burst occurs mid-May and the leaves have almost no stem and grow in bunches. Its fruit, commonly known as the acorn, are 2 – 2.5cm long, borne on lengthy stalks and held tightly by cupules (the cup-shaped base of the acorn). As it ripens, the green acorn takes on a more autumnal, browner colour, loosens from the cupule and falls to the canopy below.

Most acorns will never get the chance to germinate, they are rich food source, eaten by many wild creatures including jays, mice and squirrels. Acorns need to germinate and root quickly to prevent drying out or becoming victims of the harvest. Following successful germination, a new sapling will appear the following spring.

Interesting Fact: Acorns are not produced until the tree is at least 40 years old. Peak acorn fecundity usually occurs around 80 – 120 years.

As common oaks mature they form a broad and spreading crown with sturdy branches beneath. Their open canopy enables light to penetrate through to the woodland floor, allowing bluebells and primroses to grow below. Their smooth and silvery brown bark becomes rugged and deeply fissured with age. Oak tree growth is particularly rapid in youth but gradually slows at around 120 years. Oaks even shorten with age in order to extend their lifespan…. Woodland Trust

Chrysidinae sp of Ruby Tailed Wasp.( Cavenham heath NR )

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This wasp is from the Chrysidinae species of Ruby Tailed wasps. Sadly without a sample being studied under a microscope it can not go any further with the ID.

There are 15 wasps in the Chrysidinae species..

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These solitary wasps are often called cuckoo, or ruby-tailed, wasps. They have a heavily armoured, brightly coloured cuticle. The apical gastral segments have been modified to form a thin, tubular structure that can be telescoped into the hind end of the gaster. In the female this tubular structure has been secondarily modified to act as an ovipositor. They have a parasitoid life history.

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Ormyrus nitidulus (Cavenham Heath NR)

Really pleased with this find today its only a few mm long.

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A female Ormyrus nitidulus on a knopper gall (a type of gall that develops when a developing acorn of the pedunculate oak Quercus robur is parasitised by the cynipid wasp Andricus quercuscalicis)

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Gall wasps, also called gallflies, are a family (Cynipidae) of the order Hymenoptera and are classified with the Apocrita suborder of wasps in the superfamily Cynipoidea. Their common name comes from the galls they induce on plants for larval development.