Thursday, 19 March 2015


It was a day for early emerging pollinators, and for appreciating the importance of our early spring flowers. One of my favourite flowers in Lesser Celandine Ficaria verna, which flowers here in March. It is one of the first flowers of the year and the butter-yellow petals are a wonderful sight on the road verges in Batch Valley. This plant is also very important for early-emerging insects, which have a limited choice of flowers to utilise, and some species seem quite tied to Lesser Celandine.

To prove the point, the Drone Fly Eristalis tenax, was quite numerous this lunchtime. The species gets its name from the similarity to male hive bees (drones), though this individual is a female, as you can tell by the eyes not meeting at the top of the head.

Drone Fly Eristalis tenax
Solitary bees are now emerging, and proving to be their customary challenge to identify. I am fairly confident that this is Andrena bicolor, a common mining bee that emerges early in the spring. This bee uses Lesser Celandine, as with the larger female, and Dandelion Taxacum officinale, as with the smaller male.

Andrena bicolor

Andrena bicolor

No comments:

Post a Comment