08 June 2010

Dance Fly

A couple of insects caught my eye today. The first was this Dance Fly (Empis tessellata), which was quite abundant today. It preys on other flies but also takes nectar. It's long, slender proboscis is used to spear its prey. It catches its prey mid-air, and this is where having those long legs comes in handy? It is frequently seen on open structured plants like Hawthorn blossom and members of the daisy and umbellifer families. In the photo it is nectaring on Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca).

The second was this striking looking moth. It looks like a type of grass moth to me but that's as far as I go. I'm sure Barry will be able to shed some light on the matter or indeed another fellow reader.


Barry Stewart said...

This is the plume moth Platyptilia gonodactyla, a widespread species of open, grassy habitats and waste ground where the larvae feed in the stems and flowers of Colt's-foot

i.f.tew said...

Try here for a really brilliant site to flick through UK moths


Mark Hipkin said...

Cheers lads. Thanks for the info. That website does look very useful. Prepare yourselves for a medley of misidentifications coming to a blog near you soon! Not too many though, I hope.