This Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) is having a productive day, you can see that her “pollen basket” (the real name is corbicula) is almost full 🙂
The basket is the bumblebee’s storage, it’s made out of hard hairs on the flat part on its back legs. When she walks around in the flower, pollen is collected all over her body and then she sort of “combs” it into the basket. Only nesting female bumblebees collect pollen, the males don’t have any baskets.
Zoom in on the basket:
Flies are annoying little creatures whose only point in life is to serve as food for other animals, right? No, that’s not entirely true. Without flies, we would be knee deep in rotting food, feces, decaying vegetation, animal corpses, etc. So even though flies can be incredibly irritating: consider a world without them..
Here are a couple of snipe flies, more specifically identified as Chrysopilus splendidus. Such a nice name, sounds a bit like a spell from the Harry Potter books, doesn’t it! 🙂
Chrysopilus is a worldwide genus of predatory snipe flies, there are about 300 species in the genus, including fossils found in amber.
Week 23 = June = It’s summer! And today’s a bank holiday, which is the best kind of Monday one can ask for 🙂
Here are some pictures of small lives taken this morning: (Pictures were taken. Not lives.)
(1) 2-spot harlequin ladybug (Harmonia axyridis) with two big shoulder blobs in the shape of Australia
(2) Flesh fly (Sarcophagidae) with quite impressive foot pads
(3) Hover fly (Eupeodes corollae) enjoying the moment on a poppy flower #carpediem
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Here’s a male Longhorn (Mystacides azurea) enjoying the good weather here in Amsterdam 🙂 It’s a kind of caddisfly with very long antennae (which unfortunately are out of focus). They’re very small, only 6-9 mm long so even if they’re quite common you really have to look for them. I took this picture with a Raynox 250 attached on my Fuji lens, not really used to handle it yet (the 150 is much more forgiving and easier to use) but I hope I’ll get there.
A Calliphoridae fly also known as “Blow fly”, from an older English term for meat that had eggs laid on it, which was said to be fly blown. He was blowing a bubble of water, and then inhaled it again. There are many theories for this behaviour (to aid digestion, to cool the body, being sick, cleaning their mouthparts etc.) but no one knows for sure.
This seven-spot ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) has found the best spot in the park to enjoy the spring! Beautiful blossom and plenty to eat 🙂
The name “ladybug” was coined by European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began eating their crops. After ladybugs came and wiped out the invading insects, the farmers named them “beetle of Our Lady”. This was later shortened to “lady beetle” and “ladybug”.
The yellow dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) spend their lives on dung, or looking for it. They are predators and the dung supplies their breeding and hunting ground. They hunt by ambushing insects visiting the dung. Here’s a male dung fly having dinner, its prey so big that I first thought I was interrupting an intimate moment with a lady dung fly 😉
Yesterday I saw my first bee of the year, and not just any bee – I think she’s unusually beautiful, and look how happy she is! 🙂 Covered in fresh pollen from a crocus, just what she needed after the winter.
This is not just a ladybug like all others.. She has a cat tattoo on her left shoulder! 🙂
I always thought all ladybugs looked the same, but that’s not the case. According to Wikipedia, the spot size and coloration can provide some indication of how toxic the individual bug is to potential predators. It synthesizes the toxic alkaloids, N-oxide coccinelline and its free base precoccinelline; depending on sex and diet.
Picture rotated and zoomed in:
Week 34 already! Here’s a Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) basking in the sun, we’re enjoying sunny summer days here in Amsterdam this week 🙂
Its face look a bit comical seen from the front.. Little Muppet!