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Insect Week returns in 2022

Insects everywhere

One of the great things about insects, and invertebrates more generally, is that they can be found almost everywhere. Even in the 2 x 3m concrete jungle that is our yard we’ve got Marmalade Hoverflies -Episyrphus balteatus - feeding on some rocket that I’ve allowed to flower. For more information on this and the other 270 species of hoverfly in Britain see the Hoverfly Recording Scheme website.

Hovering Marmalade Hoverfly

© Chris West 2011

Marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus, hovering.

I occasionally get Hawthorn Shieldbugs - Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale - coming in with the washing (see the fantastic British Bugs website for everything you ever wanted to know about true bugs), and I’ve found a fair few woodlice sheltering in my wellies when I’ve accidentally left them outside.

Sarah West, Open Air Laboratories, York University

Sarah West, Open Air Laboratories, York University

This goes to show how much you can find even in a small area, so I’d encourage you to get out of your house and see what you can find. If you’ve got a camera, take a photograph and post it on the iSpot website, a great site set up as part of the OPAL project, where people will help you identify the things you have found.

Sarah West, OPAL

York University

Did you know?

Holo versus hemi

Insect have two main life stage patterns, holometabolous: egg, larva, pupae, adult; and hemimetabolous: egg, nymph, adult.

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