|The pond/gravel pit, summer 2010|
|The pond, April 2011|
Although mid-April is a little early for Odonata, on 16th April there were two exuviae (skins) of nymphs that has crawled up marginal plants and emerged as adults.
|An exuvium - but which species?|
A variety of other invertebrates are present at the pond - whirligig beetles (Gyrinus sp.), pond-skaters (Gerris sp.), honey bees, some as-yet unidentified diving beetles, springtails (Collembola) and wolf-spiders (Lycosidae, especially Pardosa sp.) on marginal stones, and water snails; however it is the flies (Diptera) that currently appear to be most diverse (or at least most obvious).
The first recorded this year was a pair of craneflies Tipula vernalis, a spring species mating on a small remaining patch of floating algae in late March. Soon after in April, the bee-fly Bombylius major was noted, along with others including the non-biting midge Chironomus anthracinus, the hoverfly Rhingia campestris and the moth-fly Boreoclytocerus ocellaris though it's worth noting that some of these need collection and closer examination to identify them with certainty. Moth-flies are certainly under-recorded and it's worth getting a copy of Withers (1989) if you are interested; it's currently available for just £4.
|Tipula vernalis, busy making more craneflies|
|Male (plumed antennae) Chironomus anthracinus|
|The moth-fly Boreoclytocerus ocellaris|
|The hoverfly Rhingia campestris showing the long rostrum|
|A honey-bee Apis mellifera; a very orange form, maybe the Italian strain?|
|Tadpoles of common frog Rana temporaria, plus a water snail|
Cham, S. (2009). Field Guide to the Larvae and Exuviae of British Dragonflies. Volume 2: Damselflies (Zygoptera). British Dragonfly Society, Peterborough.
Withers, P. (1989). Moth Flies. Diptera: Psychodidae. Dipterists Digest 4: 1-83.