Flea circus

Part One

Research has recently found that the highly toxic insecticides used on cats and dogs to kill fleas are poisoning England’s rivers. Scientists believe that significant environmental damage is being done to important water insect populations, down at the bottom of the freshwater food chain.

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How to tell a grasshopper from a cricket

  • The most visible difference between a grasshopper and a cricket is that crickets tend to have very long antennae while grasshoppers’ antennae are short.
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Thick legged flower beetle

A female Oedemera nobilis, known as the thick legged flower beetle or swollen thighed beetle, photographed in the park last week.

The male has the strangely shaped legs for which the species is named


Peacock

Remember all those peacock caterpillar netsts? They have metamorphosed into a shiny new generation of adult peacock butterflies.

A marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) feeding on the nectar of a bramble flower. This is a new species for our lists, despite its ubiquity.

The marmalade fly gets its name from its colour, and its thin cut/thick cut dark stripes, just like marmalade.

Ian Bushell has sent in a picture of a pair of large red damselflies photographed in the park today, the penultimate day of National Insect Week.

Day 6 of National Insect Week

This is a fig gall, found on an elm leaf in the hedge between Sleepers and Cornfield. It is caused by Tetraneura ulmi, an elm-grass root aphid with a very complicated life cycle.

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