Small, brown and moving north!

Just as you think the butterfly season is coming to an end, some second generation individuals appear. I was very happy to come across these second brood Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) butterflies in Bedfordshire on 13 Aug 2019. In 1993, the Brown Argus was described as a scarce or local species, which had declined by…

Canoodling bee-grabbers

These remarkable flies, known as Thick-headed Flies (Conopidae), are larval parasitoids of bees and wasps. Females of this species, Conops quadrifasciatus, attack bumblebees in flight, which has earned them the name ‘bee-grabbers’. Apparently, they grab the poor bee, and use a specialised pad-like structure at the end of their abdomen (called a theca) to prise apart the bee and implant…