Monday, 23 July 2012

Male scorpion fly

This is a male scorpion fly.  Apart from the genital capsule at the rear end (which gives it the common name of scorpion fly) it looks pretty much like the female scorpion fly.
This is a close up of the genital capsule.
Males are much more difficult to find than females.  I'm not sure why this is.  It could be that there are just fewer, or perhaps they are more wary, or maybe they do not live long after mating.  They are also more difficult to catch.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Octolasium cyaneum - an earthworm

This is Octolasium cyaneum, an earthworm that prefers wetter conditions.  Previously I had hardly ever seen this worm, but this summer I see loads of them on the road trying to find higher ground as they've been flooded out from the lower side of the road.  We have had more, and more constant rain than I can remember.  The worm normally lives on the side of the road that has a ditch running down it, but although the ditch has overflowed in some parts for a just few hours, it is just too wet for too long in other parts for this worm.  So it crosses the road to reach the higher, south facing bank.