25 August 2015

A real long-winged conehead.....

A real long-winged conehead - even if it has short wings! Following on from the last-but-one posting (which actually is of a short-winged conehead, in spite of its long wings), I include a photo of an early instar long-winged conehead, an individual at a brownfield site at Burry Port, Carmarthenshire on 25th July this year ( a new county record).
Note the virtually straight ovipositor, which differentiates females of that species from the short-winged conehead, even when the long-winged conehead is young and has n`t developed the long wings of the adult. The ovipositor in the short-winged conehead is markedly curved.
So, we have the almost absurd and confusing scenario whereby the previous conehead posted on the Gower Wildlife blog is really a short-winged conehead (albeit the macropterous form with long wings) and the individual below, is an early instar long-winged conehead, which has n`t developed its long wings yet! It`s easy to get confused in these circumstances - indeed, I`d assumed that my Burry Port conehead was a short-winged (a species that is frequent on the Carmarthenshire coast) until it was pointed out to me that the ovipositor was straight - so, no need for any embarrassment!
It is certainly worth looking out for long-winged coneheads in the Swansea area (as they`re likely to be around if they`ve already arrived in SE Carmarthenshire) and remember: the straight versus curved ovipositor is the easiest way to tell them (females only) apart.

Above: a young female long-winged conehead.

No comments: