Nature in the raw – active invertebrates

Libellula quadrimaculata oblivious to observation as it tucks in to a hearty lunch!

Libellula quadrimaculata oblivious to observation as it tucks in to a hearty lunch!

The Four-spotted Chaser above, photographed on Crowle Moors recently appeared unconcerned by the attention of admirers as it settled to feed on the Large Red Damselfly it had caught for its lunch.  For more information on dragonfly and damselfly identification and ecology visit the British Dragonfly Society website. 

With the advent of pocket size digital cameras with decent macro options, images are easily obtained and then in many cases identifications can be made from them.  Thanks to all contributors for sharing their finds and adding to the data held on the biodiversity to be found on the Humberhead Levels, particularly Thorne and Hatfield Moors.

Rhagium bifasciatum 504


The three images on today’s post have been sent in by Matt Blisset (Lincolnshire WT).  The two here are of the common longhorn beetle, Rhagium bifasciatum and all are excellent examples of opportunistic recording.  The longhorn beetles are vegetarian in their diet and as such not always popular with foresters.  Their larvae are a food source for woodpeckers who will break open decaying timber to extract them.  In late spring and early summer adults can be observed feeding on pollen so keep an eye on hawthorn, dogwood and hogweed flowers.


Rhagium bifisciatum 516


The one thing that is certain about Thorne and Hatfield Moors is that things are certainly unpredictable. The sites are recognised as being exceptional for the diversity of species to be found by anyone with any degree of patience and observational skill. Rewards there are a plenty, recent blog posts atest to that.

A good website Cerambycidae which will help with identification can be found here.  Another site with excellent images can also be found here.  Happy hunting and let us know what you find.

Remember also that if you’re in York this Sunday come and meet us at the Royal Entomological Society Insect Festival in the Yorkshire Museum Hospitium and Gardens.


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