Take Notice- Pretty insects

I must admit, insects are not my favourite creatures. But without them, most plants would not be fertilised and so die. Many insects are harmless and even attractive to look at.

The National Trust published this article about native British insects:

http://ntpressoffice.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/deceptively-beautiful/

Deceptively beautiful

We asked Peter Brash, Animal Ecologist for the National Trust, to tell us about his favourite insects as part of National Insect Week:

“I always find it difficult to choose favourites. When asked to write this blog for National Insect Week I knew I was going to have a difficult choice.

“As an entomologist and a naturalist I’m a bit of an all-rounder, a jack of all trades. After birds lit my fire for natural history at the age of ten, the conflagration has spread to plants, fungi and insects. Unlike some sensible folk who focus on one group I’ve attempted to master flies, bugs, bees and beetles. So choosing a single group is difficult.

 

“I do have a great fondness for bees but I’m an even greater fan of the unrelated species that masquerade as bees or wasps. These Batesian mimics adopt the colouring of stinging bees and wasps to avoid predation by other species.

Wasp beetle Clytus arietis

“One of the most common is the wasp beetle Clytus arietis, a type of longhorn beetle that develops in timber and branches. While the yellow on black warning disguise is not totally convincing, the fact that the beetle will run about and engage in furious antennae cleaning does give another strand to the deception. This is one of the most amazing things about the mimics; natural selection appears to have worked not only on colouration but also behaviour.

Chrysotoxum Verralli

“The hoverflies as a group have taken mimicry to extreme levels. The Chrysotoxum family have the black banded yellow body of a wasp and often zigzag in flight just like the stinging insects that they imitate. The antennae are longer than other hoverflies, possibly in part to make them even more credible as a wasp.

 

 

 

 

Read more here: http://ntpressoffice.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/deceptively-beautiful/

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