I hope you're all having a wonderful summer so far and are getting great yields from your plots. I've certainly been enjoying visiting different allotments across the city, and everyone has been extremely weloming and friendly. I've spotted a few very interesting species, such as this rather unusual, day-flying moth which has clear wings. It is aptly named the Currant Clearwing (Synanthedon tipuliformis), though as you may also guess from its name, the larvae of this species like to feed on the shoots of currant bushes...
Over recent weeks you might have noticed a peak in the number of hoverflies in your plots. At Whitehawk and Roedale Valley the flowering shrub Euonymus japonicus is absolutely buzzing with all kinds of different fly species- the sound they make is really quite impressive!
I observed lots of marmalade hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) in particular. As well being excellent pollinators, the larvae of this species absolutely love to munch on aphids which is great news for gardeners! If you're keen to encourage more hoverflies into your plots, why not follow these easier instructions to make yourself a hoverfly lagoon.
My colleagues at Buzz Club and I have put together a quick and fun Pollinator Quiz. We'd like to use the results from the quiz to see how good people are at distinguishing between different kinds of pollinator, and whether this might improve after taking part in project such as Team Pollinate. We'll be developing several different versions of the quiz, with varying levels of difficulty (although even Prof. Goulson didn't get 100% on the first quiz!) so watch this space! Try the quiz for yourself here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PolQuizTest
Thanks for reading and as ever, if you spot any interesting wildlife in your plots, be sure to let me know!