Wildwater.tv's Blog

Video and Scientific Photography

Archive for April, 2010

Female flower bee in flight

Posted by wildwatertv on April 29, 2010

This is another hairy footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes).  There are lots around at the moment, but they disappear by the end of May.  This high speed photograph shows the opening of the sheath around the long tongue as the bee approaches a pulmonaria flower.   This sheath gets folded back as the bee feeds and then it snaps shut again before moving on to the next flower.  The male is shown in an earlier post, but this is the female, with pollen baskets on her hind legs.  Many of these are living in holes in the wall of our cottage.

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Shield bug

Posted by wildwatertv on April 20, 2010

This fantastic creature is a Green shieldbug (Palomina Prasina), Order Hemiptera sub order Heteroptera Family Acanthosomidae. They have long sucking mouthparts but they also have a gland in their thorax between the first and second pair of legs which secretes a foul smelling liquid.  This gives them their other common name, stink bugs.

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Oxford Folk Festival

Posted by wildwatertv on April 20, 2010

It was the Oxford Folk festival this weekend.  A fantastic opportunity for photographers to shoot some of the colour and strangeness that events like this always produce.  This character is from a rogue morris side.  The weather was fantastic for once…

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Hairy footed flower bee

Posted by wildwatertv on April 14, 2010

I spent ages last week setting up the equipment to do high speed photography on bees in flight.  Finally, I got this one to play and it took its own picture.  It looked a little odd when it came to identifying it.  I first thought it was a bee-fly, but on further investigation it IS a bee called the hairy footed flower bee, or to give it its scientific name, Anthophora plumipes. They have very long tongues, which can get to the nectaries of pulmonaria.  They are hole dwellers and our house has holes made by mason bees in which they probably live.  the females are all black, but this is the male.  They are among the earliest of bees, and only fly until about May.

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