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Been watching this just now for about ten minutes on a 2" leaf amidst a clump of campanula. Never seen one before. It spent all it's time scurrying around in circles on the leaf occasionally stopping and rubbing it's legs down the long black shell thing. It didn't seem to be doing anything to the leaf, although maybe this behaviour means it WAS doing something. The lump is unusual to me. Does anybody know what it is and if it's good news or bad news? Have to admit, its movements were a bit creepy! I couldn't tell if it was in distress (due to the lump?) or if it normally would move in a disorientated way.
It looks to me like one of the Ichneumon wasps but I'm not an expert - hopefully someone else will know more than me - and no idea what the lump is - Ichneumons are parasitic wasps, is this one being parasitised in it's turn?
You could try posting a pic on here http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/ and seeing what they come up with.
Hi Dove. I've just had another look and it seems to be struggling with only one wing. It has a whole left wing but the one on the right seems only to have a little bit left. Then again, maybe it's meant to be like that. But if it isn't, my guess is that it's staggering due to the loss of the wing and maybe the loss of the wing has caused it to be unable to live as normal. The bump certainly looks a bit parasitic or infected to me but then again maybe it is just like this. One thing is for sure, I couldn't bear to watch it any longer in case its movements might be its last! I'll do a web search again.
Isn't nature fascinating - I get more pleasure watching the goings on in my new wildlife pond that from watching most of the stuff on the tv.
Any trout fisherman will know that that is a Hawthorn fly. Favourite trout food where hawthorn bushes overlap the water!
Ah - how interesting - do they usually come with the lump or is that a problem for it?
Just been looking at pictures for Hawthorn fly and they do seem to have a bump up by their head although Yarrow2's (the fly I mean) seems to be rather large.
Hawthorn flies come with the hump dove that's nature for you, they feed on hawthorn blossom and as with many insects die after mating so they are only about for a month or so. Caught quite a few trout on the imitation.
Fascinating Dave - thank you for that - I used to do a bit of coarse river fishing in upper reaches of the Deben when I was a teenager (rudd and roach etc) and love being by English rivers, and I've always thought I'd love to try fly-fishing but it's never happened. I'm fascinated by the art of tying flies.
It's easier than many people think dove, I've tied so many, nothing like catching a fish on a home tied fly. Manual dexterity is the only qualification you need and like gardening the rest is learnable.
Dave that's fascinating. I've never seen one of those in our garden and coincidentally there's a fishing accessories shop round the corner.
The leaf the fly is on (I've just dashed out to measure it - completely mad or what!) is only 4cm long so maybe the fly was just only a cm.
Forester - it looked big to me at the time, an exaggerated feeling probably because I felt it was so creepy when it moved!