Leader: Mike Edwards (Entomologist)
Heather and Bell Heather were still in flower and producing nectar for many, very active insects on an extremely hot morning when 11 members met leader Mike Edwards on September 9th. Mike is a professional entomologist, author and an expert on ants, bees and wasps. His identification skills are acute and his knowledge of the complicated, often predatory, life cycles is outstanding.
With Mike’s sweep net and collection tubes members were able to look very closely at tiny insects, many of which only have Latin names. Among those studied were: Spider-hunting Wasp, Bee-wolf Wasp, Slavemaker Ants, sand wasps, digger wasps and solitary bees.
The large, uncommon hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum was located. This drops its eggs into the nests of ants where its larvae feed on aphids within the ants’ nest.