Invertebrates (minibeasts)

There is such a wealth of invertebrate life in the wood, that unless I wrote a massive comprehensive identification guide (and many people have already done that brilliantly), I couldn’t hope to cover what is living there.  Instead, I have put information here about things my children have found and things that are just cool…

Hoverfly Criorhina ranunculi

Amos found this in early March.  He was so excited.  It is a hoverfly disguised as a bee in order to ward off being eaten by predators.  This is a kind of evolution that amazes me – the protection afforded to a harmless species by looking like a more dangerous one.  In technical language, this is Batesian mimicry, but that doesn’t stop it being cool!  This hoverfly has emerged quite early and is probably feeding on the sap oozing from the stump.  It is a blossom feeder and can be found on catkins.  (It was just over a centimetre in length.)