So It Begins

It took me until January 10th to record any invertebrates this year. In bright sunlight what looked like dung flies (Scathophagidae) were basking on the noticeboard at Hosehill Lake LNR, whilst on a neighbouring fence rail numerous springtails were leaping about, among them the distinctive species Orchesella cincta

My first hastily pinned specimen of the year is, as I suspected when I caught it, the Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria. I haven’t had a go at nearly as many fly keys as I have beetle keys. I tend to find flies (besides hoverflies and other distinctively marked ones) all come down to tricky arrangements of bristles poking out of miscellaneous unfamiliar bits of anatomy. Still, there’s something wonderful about all those bristly hairs.

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My first yellow dung fly of the year, but by no means the last. This is an enormously common – and variable – species. 
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