224. The Battle For Aerial Supremacy In The Skies Above The Lambs Ears

by Jarvo J June. 28, 2009 5634 views

If anyone can help in identifying these little airy-buzzers, it would be well appreciated.

All weekend little buzzy things have been hovering around our Lambs Ears (Stachys Byzantium). Some appear quite peaceful just wanting a quiet life, whilst others are quite aggressive.

This little hoverfly (Syrphus Ribesii or Episyrphus Balteatus - see Ricky's comments below) is very light and manoeuvrable. It flies well,can hover on the spot and turn on a sixpence, but it’s a bit dopey and it’s certainly not supreme in a dogfight.

Of all the little bugs, this little green fly (Dasyphora Cyanella?) is the easiest to photograph despite being the quickest mover. This is because they have set spaces to land on the plant. As soon as one departs another arrives. For all I know they might have their own little air traffic control centre and fly in a stack waiting to come down.

You might think that this Buff-tailed humble bee (Bomus Terretris?) would be the supreme power over the lambs ears, but it isn't. Take a look at it's nose and you'll see that this little thing has a terrible cocaine habit. She doesn't even know what day of the week it is.

Quick, wipe your nose clean or people might mistake you for Robbie Fowler [i.dailymail.co.uk]

Here comes the king. This rules the skies above the lambs ears with a rod of iron.

I think it's a Carder Bee (Anthidium Manicatum), but I'm not sure. It's big - though not as big as the humble, it can hover and it can be pretty mean and aggressive.

Twice this weekend, I have seen them chase humbles away. Though it happens so quick I've not had a chance to capture it. This shot was taken a 1/1250s and it's wings are still a blur.

Here we see two of them trying to beat the world Bee-speed record by using a special arrangement of contra-rotating wings. Either that or they're just enjoying a nice little game of Hide the Sausage.

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There are 10 comments , add yours!
Pete 11 years, 5 months ago

great set esp #2

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Ian 11 years, 5 months ago

Superb set of stunning sharp macro shots

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Ali Reza 11 years, 5 months ago

these are really great macros.....
i love # 8.........................................
Well done............................................

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Camille 11 years, 5 months ago

impressive !!

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Marsha 11 years, 5 months ago

Exceptional macros, Jon....what a set of fantastic captures, the type that require so much patience. Funny commentary as well :)))

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Ricardo 11 years, 5 months ago

Jon, Isnt your Hover fly an [i]Episyrphus balteatus[/i]?
Because [i]Syrphus Ribesii[/i] Has Bigger eyes, the wings are bigger and the abdomen is bigger too!
And that one seems more a Marmalade Hoverfly [i](Episyrphus balteatus)[/i]

Hoverflies are one of my favorites but they are too hard to ID, but definetly, that one I'm almost 100% sure it is a marmelade hoverfly!
By the way, The bees are hard too, But I think your scientific names are correct!
Good set Jon!

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Jet28 11 years, 5 months ago

Wow, brilliant set - love your commentary!

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Susan 11 years, 5 months ago

Outstanding macros (as always!). Love the hoverfly - don't know if I've ever seen one. Great catch in # 8.

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Michael Sakowicz 11 years, 5 months ago

I like the mid-flight, landing approach capture of shot eight.

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
Ittakesallsorts 11 years, 5 months ago

Brilliant brilliant shots - luv them all ;-}

11 years, 5 months ago Edited
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