Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Huge flies

Nature note part one:

Something was tapping at the window ... a huge insect, maybe nearing two inches in length, was flapping against the glass. I initially thought it was some kind of strange hornet (see my first post) as it shared the same colours, but it had a fearsome looking "sting".

Consulting my field guide to insects, however, I am pleased to report that the visitor was a Sawfly - a female Urocerus gigas. It is a native species and its "sting" was in fact an ovipositur. Apparently this creature"bores into pines and other conifers - usually ..unhealthy ones ..- and lays her eggs in them. It is thought that the larvae feed on the wood destroying fungi found in the tunnels they have burrowed out ..." (To paraphrase slightly).

Nature note part two:

I am worried that I may have been responsible for the death of a wood pigeon. It flew into the French doors and I found it dead on the patio when I came home from work. Quite beautiful and heavy - obviously well fed. I now keep my wooden model of a grey dove covered by day by a card in case it lured the unfortunate bird as it stood on my bookcase visibly from the garden. The model is after all a take on the traditional duck decoy, which were originally made for that very purpose.


Post a Comment

<< Home