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Identifying digger

Cerceris rybyensis

Cerceris rybyensis – Male

I took this photo of this tiny little wasp in my garden back in early July but afterwards really struggled to identify it. My well-thumbed Guide to the Insects of Britain and Europe failed me. I didn’t even get to a genus, although I was pretty sure it was some kind of Digger Wasp. I had a look on the BWARS site, the website of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society http://www.bwars.com but blanked again. Read more

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A female comma

Comma Butterfly – Polygonia c-album (Female)

Polygonia c-album – Female

The Comma Polygonia c-album is one of the earliest butterflies you might encounter each spring. I saw my first this year on the 25th March. Generally I’m sad to say that for many butterfly species numbers are in decline and this extremely wet summer really hasn’t helped. However, the Comma is one of our few butterfly success stories. Just over a century ago it was on the verge of extinction in Britain with fewer than half a dozen records in many southern counties. Then, just after the First World War it started to recover again. No one is really sure why it declined or why it has recovered but since the 1950s it has expanded its range rapidly making this raggedy-winged butterfly an increasingly common sight again, even in gardens. Read more