The Friends of Alexandra Park have organised several walks where we looked for, and identified insects and other small creatures. The first walk, in 2011, was mostly aimed at adults but most of the subsequent events have been family events.
Family Bug Hunt, July 2016
The weather was warm so plenty of butterflies were on the wing includingMeadow Browns (pic of caterpillar also seen), Gatekeepers and a pair of mating Large White were seen.
Grasshoppers and crickets were seen in the grass - this is a Speckled Bush-Cricket. (pic on left shows participants holding it up)
Some things found were very small like this weevil only about 3mm long.
A list of some of the bugs seen:
Mirid bug (leptopterna dolabrata) - female, plus other varieties of this bug.
Shield bug (carpocorus fuscipinis)
1st & 3rd instars of shield bug
Soldier beetle - lots
Thick legged beetle
Seven spot ladybird
Speckled bush cricket
Caterpillar of meadow brown butterfly
Meadow brown butterfly
Rare beetle (bledius furcatus)
Looking forward to next year.
A small group of all ages met together on an overcast, but warm day to see what Butterflies we could count and what other insects we could see/identify.
The list of butterflies included Meadow Brown (pictured), Large Skipper, and probably a Small Skipper (could be Essex).
We managed to identify five different moths; Yellow Shell, Silver Y Moth, Large Yellow Underwing, Heart and Dart and a caterpillar of the Six Burnet Moth.
We spotted Rosel's Bush Cricket and Speckled Bush Cricket as well as a Meadow Grasshopper.
Yellow Longhorn and Swollen Leg beetles were spotted in the the grass.
Several Meadow Plant Bugs were observed as well as vibrantly coloured Weevil (Phyllobius roboretanus or virideaeris)
We spotted Flesh flies - with the beautifully discriptive Genus name Sarcophaga - and one colourful fly spotted was the Pellucid Fly. (Volucella pellucens) - pictured
Ants were also seen, but not identified.
Also found was a Nursery Web Spider, but that is not an insect.........
It was a lovely sunny Saturday for our Family Bug Hunt. We found at least 3 types of ladybird, lots of 7-spots, a few 16-spots and a 24-spot and one small ladybird lava was spotted.
Top among the numbers found were soldier beetles in their striking orange colour. We also found a Rosel's Bush-Cricket and another grasshopper.
A ground beetle was captured and proceeded to eat a stint bug which looks a bit like mini grasshopper. Other intriguing finds were an immature Bishop's Mitre Shield Bug and a Mirid Bug.
cinnabar moth caterpillars and finally one was found.
Several types of butterfly were seen including skippers, whites and meadow browns. What else? Several types of spider including a Green Orb Web Spider.
The kids (and adults!) enjoyed the hunt a lot and the bugs were released back into the park. Rosel's Bush-Cricket and 7-spot ladybird pictures from another occasion. Pictures from the day.
Over twenty adults and children turned up for a hunt for bugs in Alexandra Park on a sun-blessed Sunday in August, 2013.
Family Bug Hunt, August 2014
We had a good turn out for our Family Bug Hunt on Saturday, 16th August. Sun and a bit of wind. We managed to find some grasshoppers and a common blue butterfly.
Among the highlights found were a green mosquito, a large number of cinnabar moth caterpillars, an ant lion (lacewing lava) and this juvenile Green Shield Bug.
Thanks to Bex assisted by Dave for providing the expert identifications.
Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus) - 2
22 Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata) - 5
Common froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) - 3
Lacewing larva (antlion relative) - 1 (picture)
Green Shield Bug nymph
(Palomina presina) - 2 (picture)
Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) -1
Harpalus affinis - 1
Ladybird larvae - (10+)
Mirid Bug (Polymerus unifasciatus) - 1
Mirid Bug (Stenodema laevigatum) - 1
Ichneumon wasp (Coelichnewmon delirorus) - 1
Family Bug Hunt, August 2013.
Bug Hunt, July 2012
We held our first Family Bug Hunt in July, 2012.
We provided pots, nets and magnifying glasses, together with guidance of what to look for and how to identify it.
It was a fine warm day, and the event was attended by around 30 adults and children.
Thanks to Rob Wallace, who was our local 'expert', a fun time was had by all.
Insect Hunt, August 2011
An insect hunt took place in Alexandra Park on Sunday 14th August, 2011.
Tristan Bantock, a local entomologist, led a fascinating walk showing us some of the many insects species in the Park.
It ended up by going up the southern slope to see the fine specimen trees at the top of the hill, where the cafe was conveniently near for a closing cup of tea.