Andrena cineraria. Females create nests underground by excavating burrows in bare/sparsely vegetated earth often in sandy soils, so the acid grasslands at Crouch End Hill is a good place to find one. They feed from a wide variety of spring flowers and shrubs, including buttercups, hawthorn, blackthorn, gorse and fruit trees. Photo Tristan Bantock
All Bugs, Bees and other Insects
Banded General, Stratiomys potamida. Soldier flies get their name from their bold and bright colours and markings. This one looking like a very flat wasp. Often seen feeding on umbellifers and Bramble in wet areas. Larvae are amphibious, feeding in ponds and ditches.
Batman Hoverfly, Myathropa florea. This hoverfly has bold yellow and black markings and gets its common name from the dark outline on the thorax which resembles the famous batman symbol.
Black and yellow longhorn beetle, Rutpela maculata. These beetles are usually found in areas close to woodland, where there is plenty of dead wood for their larvae to feed on. They have long antennae but no horns! Females lay their eggs on fallen trees and branches, or rotting stumps. The larvae live within the wood, feeding on it, for two […]
Black-headed Cardinal Beetle, Pyrochroa coccinea, Adults are short-lived and have a brief season, usually appearing in April and often seen under loose bark. Their red colouring, often a sign of toxicity, puts off other insects from predating on them.
Bleeding Heart Spider, Nigma-Puella. The female is striking, with a light green abdomen marked with a bold maroon blotch and a variable amount of barring in the same colour. The male is reddish brown. This species makes a horizontal web over the top surface of a leaf.
Buff-tailed bumble bee, Bombus terrestris. One of the more abundant bumble bees that can even be seen through the winter. Large species with light buff tails or white in the case of worker bees which makes them difficult to distinguish from the White-tailed bumblebee. If you see one, it’s probably a buff tailed worker. The queen’s tail is definitely buff […]
Common carder bee, Bombus pascuorum. Only three species (Common carder bee; Moss carder bee, Bombus muscorum; and Brown-banded carder bee, Bombus humilis) are all-ginger. The Common carder bee has black hairs on the abdomen, unlike the two rarer species, and males can also be distinguished by their genital capsules and by the bulging antennal segments.
Common green shieldbug, Palomena prasina. Climate change has given a boost to this beetle which also benefits from having a broad diet. There are two species of green shieldbug in the UK – one native (the common green shieldbug) and one that arrived very recently from Europe (the southern green shieldbug, Nezara viridula). The common green shieldbug is bright green […]
Common red soldier beetle, Rhagonycha fulva. Quite a common sight within meadows in the summer and often seen as mating pairs. Fond of hogweed and cow parsley. Photo Stephen Middleton