Worcestershire Record No. 22 April 2007 p. 26

THE DOTTED BEEFLY BOMBYLIUS DISCOLOR

Harry Green

Following my note in Worcestershire Record No 21 I received the following comment from Roger Umpelby on 23rd April 2007:

I noted the article on page 48 of Worcestershire Record No 21 and was sure Iíd seen this species in my garden [in Ashton-under-Hill] last year Ė and here is the evidence taken last week, the wing venation looks right so Iím assuming it is B. discolor, There are a number of them about, in fact it is the one I see most. I didnít take any photos last year, but the previous year I took some, but unfortunately the insects all rested with their wings still beating rapidly so it could have been here then. Andrena spp. bees are very common here, particularly A. fulva, but I havenít looked out for A. flavipes, but I will now and try and get some decent pictures.

Dotted Beefly Bombylius discolour in Ashton-under-Hill 18th April 2007. Picture© Roger Umpelby

The picture was shown to Steven Falk who made the following comments:

That is a fantastic photo; pass on my congratulations to Roger. In fact it is the best photo I've seen of this species, so he may wish to may it available for others to use (given it is a national BAP sp). I saw lots in Sussex two weeks ago on the Downs (where it outnumbers major) and saw another hovering on the lawn at Upton House, Warwickshire, which made me start to think that maybe it could cope with less natural conditions (especially as A. flavipes is quite adaptable). I am sure this species and its main host (flavipes) are both benefiting from climate change. It other Warwickshire host, A. cineraria could also conceivably occur in gardens in hilly districts.

This distinctive species well worth looking for in Worcestershire early in 2007. This sighting in Ashton is about 2 km NE of the records at Beckford in 2006.

 
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