Friday, 24 April 2009


Small Tortoiseshell-Aglais urticae

Speckled Wood-Pararge aegeria

Peacock-Inachis io

Holly Blue-Celastrina argiolus

Orange-tip-Anthocharis cardamines

Various butterflies around again today in the much improved weather from earlier in the week. My first Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria) of the year amongst them.

First Cuckoo of Spring

I heard and saw my first Cockoo of spring on Monday near a small abandoned church near Mynytho. I had speaking with a local resident (thanks Terry) when I was sitting at the church on Sunday admiring the views and tranquility of the place said to be the quietest place on the Penllyn. Terry had brought his daughter up to the area to see if they could hear a Cuckoo and he told me is was the best spot for the first Cuckoo of spring to be heard. Sure enough on Monday as I was cycling along the road to Nanhoron by the church I heard and spotted my first Cuckoo....thanks once again Terry for the friendly chat and tip off, much appreciated by this Saesneg incomer who has fallen in love with the Penllyn

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Insects in the Sun

The recent warm dry sunny weather has started to encourage many insects to venture forth. Lots of solitary bees now around in the hedgrows and verges feeding on spring flowers. The bee shown in the photo is probably on of the Andrena family, most likely A.haemorrhoa which is possible utilised as a host by the Oil beetle larva of the previous post.

The beetle shown with the upturned tail looking almost scorpion like is a member of the Rove beetles (Staphylindae) called the Devils Coach Horse (S olens) which feeds on slugs and other soft bodied invertebrates.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Oil Beetles

The Llyn Peninsular is home to some of Britain's fast declining beetle Oil beetle population. Fortunately here on the Pen Llyn at least they seem to be about in some numbers with several individuals of Meloe proscarabeus (Black Oil Beetle) and Meloe violaceus (Violet Oil Beetle) recorded from scattered parts of the Pen Llyn whilst out cycling in April.

Meloe proscarabeus is the most common of the two but I have found both species in cop so both are confirmed as breeding in the area. Despite the common names of Black Oil beetle and Violet Oil beetle the colour is not confirmation of species as both species can occur in both colours ! The records I have from this year will be passed onto the Invertebrate Conservation Trust (Buglife) who are running an Oil beetle survey. Details can be found at

The happy couple shown in cop are the less common Meloe violaceus (Violet Oil Beetle)