Sunday, 11 March 2012





  

I'm fascinated by insects and love photographing, or at least attempting to photograph them. But it’s always a challenge, especially in Scotland.

First of all, you need to find the insect in the first place.  And being Scotland it is invariably windy and rainy which means that the insects are usually cowering under a leaf somewhere rather than preening themselves in full view on top a leaf in the sunshine.

Then, once you’ve actually managed to find one, you have to be able to stick your camera as close to it as possible whilst the leaf is blowing wildly in the wind and before the insect jumps, flies, burrows, scuttles or hides away - or before it simply takes fright and plays plain dead!

Please note that all photos were taken “au natural” and no insect was injured in the process. Unlike some photographers, I don’t feel the need to get the ideal shot by sticking a pin through them, beating bushes or setting traps to gather them, or as I’ve seen suggested, sticking them in the fridge to make them more “docile” – tempting though it may be.

Here is a collection of the insects I have managed to snap with a short ditti of “interesting” information to go with each. Hopefully, this will help you to identify a Scottish insect.

I know that identifying a species for sure often can't be done without dissecting the poor beast. Some of my identifications will therefore be less than certain.  As a very amateur entomologist and an even more amateur photographer, all tips, corrections, thoughts and comments are very welcome and I will be happy to make any necessary changes.


I hope you enjoy this site!!




How To Blog Me

1. Click on the '[number] comments' prompt above the word 'Home' lower down this page.
2. Scroll up until you see a white box.
3. Type your comments/queries/observations into this box.
4. Click on the drop down arrow beside 'Select profile...'.
5. Select 'Anonymous' or log into the appropriate profile.
6. Click 'Publish' and come back soon to see my reply.




Newly Added Insects





                                      
                                                       Orange Ladybird                            Blue-tailed Damselflies                    Ground Beetle
                                                                                    Green Tiger Beetle                             Golden-ringed Dragonfly
 Longhorn Beetle                                            Birch Shieldbug


















A brief guide to identifying Scottish insects colloquially known as 'bugs'. Photographs of all the insects are included to aid identification of the various species and brief information has been included about the insects, their habitat, eating habits and distinctive features. Almost all Scottish insects also live in Britain but many British insects only live in England. This website is dedicated to Scottish insects only although it will be a useful guide to which will apply to most of the UK. Many people call insects bugs but bugs are in fact a subset of insects, which is why they are often referred to as true bugs.




35 comments:

  1. Brilliant site!
    Love it!
    Can you name a turquoise insect with yellow spots?
    Thank you!

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    1. Many thanks for your nice comments about my site! I think the insect you are looking for is a Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris). It's a beautiful beetle, but unfortunately I haven't found one yet, so I don't have a picture of it on my site.

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  2. HI, Can you help me identify a fly/wasp?

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  3. Hi, Its flying into a small hole under window cill carrying part of a leaf, it deposits part of leaf into hole, then flys out to get more and continues this. What is it? It looks a little bit like wasp? But only one of them. I am in glasgow, is this typical of such thing in glasgow? Thanks. natkaz19@aol.com

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  4. Many thanks for your post which has really made me think! Whilst there are some solitary digger wasps, these tend to nest in the ground and stock their nest with paralysed insects. So I think the insect you saw is more likely to be a leaf-cutter bee (which look quite wasp-like) as these are also solitary and cut semi-circles out of leaves which they take back to their nests for their larvae. Leaf-cutter bees can be found throughout the UK and often nest in holes in wood, so this would fit with your insect flying into a hole under a window sill.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of leaf-cutter bees, but you'll find plenty of examples if you Google it. Please let me know if you think this might be it!

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  5. Hi, I have an enquiry about spiders. I just went to put some washing out and there is a little black one on my washing line and there is a cluster of little things moving around a small part of the line but they look like little caterpillars. They are minute Do you know if are they baby spiders, I don't want to kill a whole family of them if it is.

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  6. Thanks for your post. Don't suppose you're able to send me a photo of the things you've found? I don't know very much about spiders, but I think baby spiders look like tiny spiders rather than caterpillars. The caterpillar-like things could be insect larvae of some sort. Hopefully they'll go elsewhere on their own and you'll not have to kill them, but you probably don't want them laying eggs on your clothes. Might best to dispose of the washing line if they're still there after a few days.

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  7. Thanks for your reply. My washing was ok. Its a rotary dryer so kept washing away from it. I did try to take a photo on my phone but it wasn't clear. It is quite wet today but if they are still there, I will ask my husband to take a picture with his camera which has a good zoom on it and try and send it to you

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  8. Thanks again - it is very difficult to get clear photos when the things are so tiny - but it's good fun trying! If the camera has a macro setting, it would worth trying that. If your husband manages to get a good shot, I'd love to see it.

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  9. I was wondering if you could help IV been having problems with my drains and since then my house has been infected with these insects that are like midges they come in fly about and die

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    1. Sorry to hear about your problem. I'm no expert on how to deal with this sort of thing - I suggest that you should seek professional help from the likes of Rentokil. If you want me to try to help to identify these insects

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  10. please send me a photo. Thanks and good luck.

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  11. hya could you possibly give me an email contact addy, as i would like your advice.

    sincere thanks in advance
    my email is
    fyodor48@hotmail.com

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  12. I tried to email you, but I got a failure message I'm afraid. Is this email address the right one? Many thanks.

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  13. Hi
    Lovely site & pics, full of general info - well done insectsofscotland! I am a ML teacher working on a "Creepy-Crawlies Project" for very young Primary School kids ( P1-2 ) trying to teach them the names of various insects in French etc ... This is fun for me as well, and I would like to request your permission to use some of your images ( of lacewings in particular. )
    If I can, I will be more than happy to credit/ recommend your Website for the pics, as I believe it is fun and of educational value.
    Thanks in advance, and keep enjoying your entomological studies!

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  14. Thank you very much for your very kind comments. I am happy for you to use any of my images. Thank you also for offering to credit my Website and I would appreciate it if you were to do that . Hope you and the kids have lots of fun - I wouldn't have a clue what any of the names are in French - they must be clever kids!

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  15. Hi - I have just been walking down the Clyde Valley near Crossford and saw swarms and swarms of insects flying up the river. There were untold numbers of them and four hours later there were still thousands swarming up-river. They looked like mayflies but a local fisherman said they were granham (?). I can't find anything with that name and wonder if you have any idea what they might be?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your post. Unfortunately I'm completely baffled. What you have described does sound like a swarm of mayflies. I have looked up all my books on insects and can't find anything called grahams. It's perhaps a local name for them. The only other insects that I know swarm like this are midges and they're much smaller than mayflies. Sorry I can't help out on this one, but if you find out, please let me know.

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  16. Hi there - Jsr seen what I can only discribe as a hairy red and black flying insect! I was just now in the highlands of Scotland ;), just hovering around
    My stone dyke wall - never seen anything like this, unfortunately didn't get a photo-bright red 'fur' though, any ideas?

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    1. Many thanks for this. Unfortunately, I'm a bit stumped by what you saw, though it sounds quite exiting as I don't remember ever seeing anything like that. The only thing I can find matching your description is a soldier beetle called Trichodes Alvearius. It's red and black and hairy, but you don't find them in Scotland, only in central and southern Europe as far as I'm aware, although sometimes insects you wouldn't expect to find in the UK do start creeping in. I'm up in the highlands quite a lot, so if I ever come across anything like this, I'll let you know. And again, if you do manage to find out what it was, please let me know.

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  17. Also love your page :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Very kind of you to say so :-)

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  18. Hi I found a few lovely looking bugs whilst trying out my new camera. I'm from Central Scotland and I found these all alongside the fields while taking my dog a walk,I've attached image links of each of them! :) Red and Black beetle bug-http://imgur.com/LZBNVAX
    Bright orange fly-http://imgur.com/JNksKs4
    Pretty speckled winged bug-http://imgur.com/wxg5o9j
    Also,your images are gorgeous! :)

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    1. Brilliant photos - especially if you've never used that camera before! Absolutely love them. So, I think your first photo is a soldier beetle called Cantharis pellucid. You'll find my attempt under 'beetles' but you've got a far better photo of it than I have. Your second photo I think is a female scorpion fly. I love scorpion flies and there are a few around just now. Worth trying to find a male one as it has a scorpion like 'sting' at the end of its abdomen which is actually its genitalia and not a sting at all (see under 'lacewings/scorpion flies'). Not sure what your last one is. There are quite a few species of little orange flies and they're hard to tell apart. Thanks so much for sending me your photos and well done in getting such great shots. Thanks too for your very kind comments. Looks like you're going to have a lot of fun with your new camera. Please send any other photos you get - I'm always interested to see what's out there at this time of year.

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    2. Thank you! Very nice to hear that because I don't have much experience with using DSLR cameras. Thanks for the help and I will send you more if I get some! :)

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    3. Great - look forward to seeing them....!

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  19. Hi, please help me identify this creature, is it a Bee, a Fly a Wasp? The other day I saw one in the garden, I was astounded to see it enter what appeared to be a Wasp's house. There's constant coming & going from a wall cavity grid tile type thing in my house external wall by what appear to be small wasps, then I watched this creature enter through the grid. This is a pic of a dead one I found coincidently in my house the next day. I put the pic on The Twitter, hope you can see it OK. Great website x https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtbPqcgCcAALdpg.jpg:large

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  20. Many thanks for this - it's a fantastically sharp photo you've managed to get - even if it is dead! I think this may be a hoverfly - Volucella pellucens. Have a look on my hoverflies page which has one of these on it. Do you agree? It is a stunning creature so thanks for sending me your photo.

    PS I'm pleased you like my site - please send me any other interesting photos you manage to take.

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  21. Hi. I wonder if you have any idea what this is. I found it on my front door in Thurso. It's probably very common, but I've never seen one before. Thanks.
    https://plus.google.com/108117902646050445262/posts/7yBPCQ4HLcT

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  22. Many thanks for sending this. Your pictures are very sharp. All I can say is that it looks like some sort of moth to me. I'm afraid I don't have any particular knowledge about moths or butterflies as there are already so many sites and books that deal with this, that I have never studied them. All I do know is that butterflies have a 'bud' at the end of each antenna, but moths don't and the one in your photo just has straight antennae, so I'm pretty sure it's a moth. If you can't find it on the web or in books, I would try http://www.ispotnature.org. You have to register, but they are generally very good at getting back to you with an identification pretty quickly. Good luck, I hope you find out what it is - I like it, it has some very distinctive features.

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  23. PS I felt bad about not being able to help you out properly so I had a quick look to see what I could find. As I mentioned, I know nothing about moths, but I found something called a Honeysuckle Moth (Ypsolopha dentella) which seems to resemble yours. The features on these moths seem to vary quite a lot, so I can't be at all sure, but have a look and let me know if you think this might be it. I found a good article here: http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?bf=453

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    1. Many thanks. Yes, now you've pointed it out that seems to be what it is. It just didn't look like a moth to me, then again I didn't see it in flight. Thanks again for satisfying my curiosity. Best wishes.

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  24. Great site - looked like just what I needed to identify these little critters invading my home! However after trawling through sone great photos I failed to find what I have here
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1OUuY4R7ybTQUUwVmZvd0lCelk/edit?usp=docslist_api

    any ideas. seem to have quite alot of them knocking about. Live in NW Highlands, Gairloch

    Thanks

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  25. Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you. I'm almost certain what you have is an earwig - and a female one at that as the pincers at the back are straight-ish. The males have quite hooked pincers. Look at my page headed Earwigs/Stick Insects and see if you agree. Thanks very much for sending this to me and please keep sending anything else you find to me.

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