Green Dock Beetle

Hawes Water

I was missing the flower rich meadows of the Dordogne and the multitude of butterflies and moths and other insects which the abundant flowers attract. So I set out for a short meander around Hawes Water, with my camera with me for once, with the express intent of finding something interesting to photograph.

Some patches of knapweed growing between Challan Hall and Hawes Water gave me just what I was after.

Tree Bumblebees? On Common Knapweed.

Mainly bees, which by late summer have faded quite a bit and so are even harder to identify than they are earlier in the summer.

Common Carder Bee? On Common Knapweed.

Not to worry – I very happily took no end of photos.

Tawny Mining Bee? On Common Knapweed.
Another Common Carder Bee? On Common Knapweed.
Not-even-going-to-guess bee. On Ragwort.
A drone fly, a bee mimic – one of the Eristalis species?
Green Dock Beetle

I think this is a Green Dock Beetle. Pretty colourful isn’t it? I took lots of photos of this charismatic (or should I say prismatic?) little fella. With hindsight, I think the patterns on the knapweed flowerhead are pretty special too. Apparently, the larvae of these beetles can strip the leaves of a dock plant in no time flat. Likewise the massive leaves of a rhubarb plant. I don’t recall seeing them before, but shall be checking out docks more carefully this summer.

More about dock beetles here and here.

Green Dock Beetle.
Episyrphus Balteatus? In flight!
Not sure about the bee – but look what’s lurking below the flower – an orb-web spider.
Phaonia valida?
Devil’s-bit Scabious.

And finally, the hedgerow close to home which was cut down has new fences along each side and there’s plenty growing in that space – whether or not that’s the hawthorns and blackthorns of which the hedge was originally composed remains to be seen.

Green Dock Beetle

4 thoughts on “Green Dock Beetle

  1. I took my camera into the garden today. The tiny blue fairy wrens had returned after a nearly two year absence. There was also a most unusally coloured butterfly. Total photos successfully captured, zero. I admire your patience to snap these wonderful images. I was unaware that there are so many bee varieties.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Around 270 species of bee in the uk apparently. I strongly suspect that other countries will have even more. In Australia there’s an issue in that we have introduced European bumblebee species and they have thrived, to the detriment of native species no doubt.

  2. Like Helen, I just used to think bees, were, well, just bees. 270 species is astonishing. How many of those species are rare or threatened (hopefully not all of them). You really have developed the skill of insect photography. I know we’ve discussed this before and cost is a killer but you would get so much joy out of a decent camera with a Macro lens. Perhaps you could look for a second hand one?

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Blimey! An ever older comment I haven’t replied to. Sorry – been a bit preoccupied! I probably would enjoy a macro lens, although I do wonder whether many of the amazing close-up images of insects are from samples which have been captured and brought home to be photographed, which I’m not sure I want to do. Our bees are very much threatened at the moment because Gove has just permitted the use of neonicotinoids in the UK – pesticides which have been shown to kill off bees at an alarming rate. (It’s a bit more complicated than that – workers become so confused that they can’t find their way back to the hives and so whole hives die off). There’s a petition somewhere – you should sign it!

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