26 May 2011

Upper Neath Valley

Mountain bumblebee (Bombus monticola)
 It was nice to make a couple of return visits to the Upper Neath Valley earlier this week. The weather was a bit blustery but at least it remained dry. Great to see Bombus monticola was present again this year. Only one very ragged worker noted.
Heath Bumblebee (Bombus jonellus)
 Confirming Bombus jonellus is no easy task with a number of very similar looking bumblebees. Armed only with a camera and by taking loads of photos the bee above shows pale hairs on the hind tibiae which eliminates B. hortorum & B. ruderatus which have black hairs. Male B. lucorum has tripped me up in the past but the lack of yellow face hairs rules out this species. I think!
Field cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus campestris)
 A couple of cuckoo bumblebees above had me deliberating for some time. The one on the right is certainly an intermediate form of Bombus campestris which is a very variable species. Although not a classic form of the bee, the left one appears to be a pale phase of the same species? This species is a cuckoo of Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum).
Bracken Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola)
 Bracken Chafer is sometimes known as Garden Chafer and there were reasonable numbers of them quite widespread.
Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)
Some very worn individuals of this species were on the wing with this one above in by far the best condition. Having watched the ferocity of their long lasting aerial battles it is little wonder why they look so worn out!


Anonymous said...

Brilliant stuff Mark!

Jeremy said...

Lovely shots. I have to admit, all bees look the same to me!