Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Common Green Bottle Fly

The order Diptera comes from the Latin roots of di (meaning two) and ptera (meaning wings). This was simply given to these flies for their pair of wings. The term "Blowfly" is one of the most popular common names for the family Calliphoridae. Blowfly comes from an older English term. This term was about meat that had eggs laid on it, which was said to be fly blown in many of Shakespeare's works.
Common Green Bottle Fly 

The size of an adult bottle fly usually grows somewhat bigger from the larva stage yet the average range is still around 10-14 mm. In comparison, it is somewhat larger than a housefly. Common Green Bottle flies are known for their metallic green, blue or golden shine to its back. In further examination, three cross-grooves and 6-8 black bristle-like, or rough, hairs on it's thorax. The wings are clear with the addition of light brown veins. Both the legs and antennae are black. The head holds true to most flies with large eyes under the compound eye category. They also have sponge-like mouth parts such as a house fly would.

Proper identification of the Common Green Bottle Fly requires two characteristics. These two aspects of the bottle fly are important because the Common Green Bottle Fly is almost identical to its sister species, the Lucilia cuprina. In fact, microscopic examination is needed to tell the two species apart. The first main characteristic of the Common Green Bottle Fly is the presence of three bristles on the dorsal mesothorax. This body region is located on the middle of the back of the fly and can be most used when identifying the adult life stage of the fly. The Common Green Bottle Fly has 6–8 bristles on each side while Lucilia cuprina have only one. The second identifying characteristic is found when looking at the femoral joint in the first pair of legs. When looking at the Lucilia cuprina species, the femoral joint is metallic green. Rather, when investigating the Common Green Bottle Fly, this joint is a blue-black color.

Pinched this image from the internet, but it shows three key id features for Lucilia sericata making it possible to id it from an image.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Garden Bugs

Kleidocerys resedae Birch Catkin Bug

Found throughout England, Wales and southern Ireland, this rust-coloured bug is common on or around birch trees. The  forewings are patterned and largely transparent, with the corium and clavus punctate. The clavus has three rows of punctures.

Adults overwinter, emerging and breeding in the early spring, when they fly and emit mating calls using a strigil found on one of the hind wing veins. Larvae occur March-September and there are several generations a year, at least in the south.

Kleidocerys resedae Birch Catkin Bug

Rosemary Beetle

Chrysolina americana, common name Rosemary Beetle is a species of beetles belonging to the family Chrysomelidae.

Chrysolina americana can reach a length of 5–8 millimetres (0.20–0.31 in). They have colourful elytra with metallic green and purple longitudinal stripes. The wings are quite short, so these beetles can not fly.

This species feeds on various aromatic Lamiaceae, mainly on rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) (hence the common name), lavender (Lavandula) and thyme (Thymus).

In the Mediterranean region females lay their eggs in late summer on the leaves of the host plants. The larvae show whitish to blackish bands. Larval development continues during the winter months. The pupal stage lasts about three weeks. The imago is released in the spring.

Despite the species name americana, this leaf beetle is native and common to eastern Europe and the Mediterranean sub-region.

This species was first discovered living outdoors in the United Kingdom in 1994. By 2002 it had become widespread in the London area, and spreading rapidly throughout. Although it is susceptible to some pesticides, it is usually recommended that home growers pick off beetles by hand, or shake them off onto a sheet of paper to remove them, if the plant affected by them is intended for culinary purposes.

Rosemary Beetle

Rosemary Beetle