Newport Area - 10 Jun 18

Been out and about (with permission) on some farmland with a small pool close to Newport to see what I could find. Most of what is in these photos is pretty common at the moment and you should be able to hunt many of them down.

My first Meadow Brown butterflies of the year enjoying the white clover.

A Silver Y moth at rest: the name from the mark in the wing.

‘Only’ a Common Blue Damselfly but posed in good light how could I resist. Always surprised how hairy the bodies are.

A side on view of a male Black-tailed Skimmer showing the yellow markings along the side.

The usual view is a resting male from above when it looks blue.

The female Black-tailed Skimmer is mainly yellow with some black marks.

Note too the unmarked wings (apart from the small mark in the pterostigma at each wing-tip).

A female Black-tailed Skimmer in plan view.

The only Four-spotted Chaser I noted today. It was perched at some distance. The photo reveals the brown (almost reddish here) at the base of the wings and the small spot at the bend in each wing. Another hairy insect. The sexes are similar to look as but males are reported to sit, as this was doing, by the water looking for females. These stay away from water until they are ready to lay eggs.

Was lucky to get one shot with this passing dragonfly more or less in focus. It is a male Emperor Dragonfly and these blue-bodied / green-headed individuals patrol their territory for hours, darting around as they feed on the wing and chase all other dragonflies away.

Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) also enjoying the white clover.

A rather better photo of a male Oedemera nobilis beetle with its swollen hind femur – why?

I have no idea what this iridescent ‘thing’ is. Is it a bug and is that a face at the right hand end? It seems to be suspended on the ‘spikes’ of the leaves so it cannot weigh much.
It is also rather hairy. We could have an argument about whether it is green or blue! It is that colour that ‘depends’.

Tried pinching the leaves and confirmed these flowers are Scentless Mayweed (Matricaria perforata). In the closely-related Scented Mayweed (Matricaria chamomilla) the rays in the flowers should have down turned by now – and the stems smell strongly of chamomile if pinched.

(Ed Wilson)