James Lowen 


27 April 2020 Marky Mark

My daughter has long called my brother-in-law 'Marky Mark'. In no way does he - the comedian and actor Mark Davison - actually remind me of St Mark's Fly, which is part-Sith, part foppish dancer. But there have been loads of St Mark's Flies out this year, before, during and after St Mark's Day (25 April), and I have greeted many of them as "St Mark Mark's Fly'.

The same glade revealed another couple of glistering micromoths: Sulphur Tubic and Incurvaria masculella, the latter gracing my garden for the first time the previous day. This is a male, with amazingly feathered lady-detectors.

The moth trap has been quiet - a legacy of cold nights and easterly-based winds. But how can my heart not leap at the first Buff-tip of spring?

At least this one I can get right on my own: Red Mason Bee - a mite infested with parasites, sadly. 

And then there's bees. I continue to struggle with this - and need to acknowledge that photos alone will be inadequate to get many individuals to species. With the continued help of Phil, Mike and Will, however, some of the following identifications might be in the right ballpark. 

Another black insect that bounces around in gangs like the fly is the moth Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella. Oddly, although I haven't seen any lekking males this spring, I did spot two females inside a dappled roadside wood. That apparently bent bit at the end of the wing seems distinctive.