Other insects

'Xylocopa' Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea/valga)

'Xylocopa' Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea/valga), often one of the first bees to be seen in early spring. Most are presumably Xylocopa violacea (Violet Carpenter Bee); only males of this species are easily defined by the two orange antennal segments, females require microscopic examination. In other words, 'collection'... something I never do.

This part of rural France is a superb place to study insects. The diversity of the countryside produces a diversity of insects not normally encountered in the UK outside of nature reserves. The existence of the hunting regime no doubt contributes, both through conserving woodland and by leaving fields fallow. Small fields like this can often be found around the periphery of villages - alive with butterflies and other insects by the end of April. Unfortunately these fields are the most vulnerable to housing development, whilst village centres sometimes fall into decay.
That said, for us the single most important habitat for insects has been our garden. One quickly discovers the importance of fruit trees, particularly those that blossom early like plum. These provide the launch pad for an increasing number and variety of insects throughout the summer and into the autumn - providing one plants a succession of pollen-rich flowering plants. I'm no gardener, but my wife sows from seed many plants like Honesty, Aquilegia, Borage, Giant Bellflower and Michaelmas Daisy - all both pleasing to the eye and great for insects. Together with the succession of fruit blossoms through to apple and pear, and flowering shrubs/climbers like Wisteria, Buddlea and Ivy, a small garden can provide plenty of interest for up to eight months of the year.



Reference sources; books;

'Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe'. Michael Chinery, London, 1986. The ultimate 'gateway' book and totally indispensible, even today. A work of genius.
The order of insect species broadly follows this guide, except where stated

'Orthopteres de France, Belgique, Luxembourg & Suisse', Sardet/Roesti/Braud, Biotope Editions 2015. Wonderful new guide to Grasshoppers, Bush-crickets and Crickets of France

A Field Guide to Grasshoppers and Crickets of Britain and Northern Europe, Heiko Bellman, Collins 1988. A super little book if you can find a copy.

'Britain's Hoverflies: An Introduction to the Hoverflies of Britain', Ball/Morris, WILDGuides 2013

'Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland', Falk/Lewington, Bloomsbury 2015

Reference sources; websites;

Insects - general...

David Element's Wildlife Web
Le Monde des Insectes
British Bugs
The Spiders of Europe and Greenland
Longhorn Beetles of the W. Palearctic
Beetle fauna of Germany
Discover Life - Insects
The Garden Safari
Grasshoppers of Europe

Flickr Navigate to Steven Falk's collections... (non-linkable) Very useful for all insect families covered by him so far.


LifeDesks - Syrphidae
Hoverfly Recording Scheme (UK)
Nature Guide UK - Hoverflies

Bees, bumblebees, wasps...

BWARS - Superb site, also gives European distribution
Atlas of European Bees
The Garden Safari - Hymenoptera
BTO - Garden Bumblebees
Dutch Bees
Discover Life - Bees and Wasps
Natural England - Help Save the Bumblebee
French species list - Bombus

Mayfly (Ephemera) sp.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) F
Robber-fly (Machimus) sp.

Some of the species observed in the southern Vienne/Brenne since our arrival in January 2006...

Mayfly sp. Ephemera sp.

Grasshoppers, Bush-crickets and Crickets (Order Orthoptera)

Order follows the list in 'Orthopteres de France, Belgique, Luxembourg & Suisse', Sardet/Roesti/Braud, Biotope Editions, 2015

Phaneroptera falcata (Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket)
Leptophyes punctatissima (Speckled Bush-cricket)
Conocephalus fuscus (Long-winged conehead)
Conocephalus dorsalis (Short-winged conehead)
Ruspolia nitidula nitidula (Large Conehead)
Tettigonia viridissima (Great Green Bush-cricket)
Platycleis affinis (Tuberous Bushcricket)
Bicolorana bicolor bicolor (Two-coloured Bush-cricket)
Roeseliana roeselii (Roesel's Bush-cricket)
Pholidoptera griseoaptera (Dark Bush-cricket)
Gryllus campestris (Field Cricket)
Nemobius sylvestris (Wood Cricket)
Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Mole Cricket)

Tetrix subulata (Slender Groundhopper)

Calliptamus italicus italicus (Italian locust)
Oedipoda Caerulescens caerulescens (Blue-winged Grasshopper)
Mecostethus parapleurus parapleurus (Leek Grasshopper)
Stethophyma grossum (Large Marsh Grasshopper)
Paracinema tricolor bisignata
Omocestus rufipes (Woodland Grasshopper)
Gomphocerippus rufus (Rufous Grasshopper)
Pseudochorthippus parallelus parallelus (Meadow Grasshopper)
Chorthippus dorsatus dorsatus (Steppe Grasshopper)
Chorthippus brunneus brunneus (Common Field Grasshopper)
Chorthippus biguttulus biguttulus (Bow-winged Grasshopper)
Euchorthippus elegantulus (Elegant Straw Grasshopper)

Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa
French Stick Insect Clonopsis gallica

AC Milan Beetle Graphosoma italicum
Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina
Southern Green Shieldbug Nezara viridula
Sloe Bug/Hairy Shieldbug Dolycoris baccarum
Dock Bug Coreus marginatus
Black & Red Squash Bug Corizus hyoscyami
Broad-headed Bug Camptopus lateralis
Fire Bug Pyrrhocoris apterus
Common Green Capsid Lygocoris pabulinus
Mirid bug sp. Calocoris nemoralis
Meadow Plant Bug Leptopterna dolabrata

Common Pond Skater Gerris lacustris
Water Boatman sp. Corixidae sp.

Buffalo Treehopper Stictocephala bisonia
Black and Red Froghopper Cercopis vulnerata
Green Leafhopper Cicadella viridis

Ascalaphid sp. Libelloides coccajus
Green Lacewing Chrysopa perla
Alder Fly Sialis lutaria
Scorpion Fly sp. Panorpa meridionalis

Western Bee-fly (Bombylius canescens)
Hornet (Vespa crabro)
Roesel's Bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii) M
Mason bee sp. (Osmia cornuta)

True flies (Order Diptera)

Tipula paludosa (European Crane Fly)
Nephrotoma appendiculata (Spotted Crane Fly)
Ctenophora festiva (Crane fly sp.)

Chloromyia formosa (Broad Centurian)
Tabanus bromius (Band-eyed Brown Horsefly)

Bombylius canescens (Western Bee-fly)
Bombylius major (Dark-edged Bee-fly)
Hemipenthes morio (Bee-fly sp.)

Asilis crabroniformis (Hornet Robberfly)
Choerades gilvus (Ginger robberfly)
Machimus sp. (Robberfly sp.)
Thereva sp. (Stiletto fly sp.)

Hoverflies (Syrphidae)

Order alphabetical. Common names appear to be a matter of conjecture - the more established ones are added in brackets;

Chrysotoxum festivum (Beaded Chrysotoxum)
Chrysotoxum vernale
Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalade Hoverfly)
Eristalis arbustorum (Plain-faced Dronefly)
Eristalis nemorum (Stripe-faced Dronefly)
Eristalis pertinax (Tapered Dronefly)
Eristalis similis (Glass-winged Dronefly)
Eristalis tenax (Stripe-eyed Dronefly)
Eupeodes corollae
Helophilus pendulus (Common Tiger Hoverfly)
Helophilus trivittatus (Large Tiger Hoverfly)
Milesia crabroniformis
Myathropa florea
Platycheirus sp(s)
Rhingia campestris (Common Snout-hoverfly)
Scaeva pyrastri
Scaeva selenitica/Scaeva dignota
Sphaerophoria scripta (Long Hoverfly)
Syritta pipiens
Syrphus ribessii/Syrphus rectus
Syrphus torvus
Syrphus vitripennis/Syrphus torvus
Volucella inflata (Cossus Hoverfly)
Volucella pellucens (Large Pied Hoverfly)
Volucella zonaria (Hornet Hoverfly)
Xanthogramma pedissequum (Superb Ant-hill Hoverfly)
Xanthogramma pedissequum/Xanthogramma stackelbergi

Scaeva pyrastri F
Eristalis nemorum (Stripe-faced Dronefly)
Eristalis nemorum (Stripe-faced Dronefly)

Other fly species (Tachinidae, etc...)

Phasia aurulans (Tachinid fly sp.)
Phasia aurigera (Tachinid fly sp.)
Cylindromyia bicolor (Tachinid fly sp.)
Tachina fera (Tachinid fly sp.)
Tachina grossa (Giant Tachinid Fly)
Sarcophaga sp. (Flesh fly sp.)
Calliphoridae sp. (Greenbottle sp.)
Stomorhina lunata (Blow fly sp.)
Musca domestica (Common House Fly)
Scathophaga stercoraria (Yellow Dung Fly)

Sawflies (Symphyta)

Tenthredo scrophulariae (Figwort Sawfly)

Wasps (All families)

Gasteruption jaculator (Parasitic wasp sp.)
Ophion sp. (Parasitic wasp sp.)
Amblyteles armatorius (Parasitic wasp sp.)
Isodontia mexicana (Grass-carrying wasp)
Lestica clypeata (Digger wasp sp.)
Philanthus triangulum (Bee Wolf)
Eumenes coarctatus (Heath Potter Wasp)
Ancistrocerus nigricornis (Solitary wasp sp.)
Vespula vulgaris (Common Wasp)
Vespa crabro (Hornet)
Vespa velutina (Asian Hornet)
Polistes dominula/gallicus (Paper wasp sp.)

Bees (Apidae, Andrenidae), Bumblebees (Bombus)

Order follows the list in 'Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland', Falk/Lewington, Bloomsbury 2015

Colletes hederae (Ivy Bee)
Andrena agilissima (Violet-winged Mining-bee)
Andrena angustior (Groove-faced Mining Bee)
Andrena flavipes (Yellow-legged Mining Bee)
Halictus scabiosae (Great Banded Furrow Bee)
Lasioglossum calceatum (Common Furrow Bee)
Anthidium septemspinosum (Megachilidae bee sp.)
Osmia cornuta (Mason bee sp.)
Megachile centuncularis (Patchwork Leaf-cutter Bee)
Coelioxys sp. (Sharp-tailed bee sp.)
Eucera sp. (Long-horned bee sp.)
Anthophora plumipes (Hairy-footed Flower Bee)
Xylocopa violacea (Violet Carpenter Bee)
(?)'Xylocopa' Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa valga)

Bombus hortorum (Garden Bumblebee)
Bombus soroeensis (Broken-belted bumblebee)
Bombus lapidarius (Red-tailed Bumblebee)
Bombus terrestris/lucorum (Buff/White-tailed Bumblebee)*
*NB: European (continental) B. terrestris has a whitish tail and paler yellow bands!
Bombus sp. (Carder Bee sp.)
Bombus pratorum (Early Bumblebee)
Bombus ruderarius (Red-shanked Carder Bee)
Bombus ruderatus (Large Garden Bumblebee)
Bombus sylvarum (Shrill Carder Bee)

Apis mellifera (Western Honey Bee)

Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) F
Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum)
Carder-bee sp. (Bombus sp.)

Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela campestris
Dune Tiger Beetle Cicindela hybrida
Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus
Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus
Beetle sp. Sinodendron cylindricum
Dor BeetleGeotrupes stercoriarius
Dung Beetle sp. Copris lunaris
Cockchafer Melolontha melolontha
Summer Chafer Amphimallon solstitialis
Blue Chafer sp. Hoplia caerulea
Bee Beetle sp. Trichius fasciatus/zonatus
Chafer sp. Oxythyrea funesta
Rose Chafer Cetonia aurata
Chafer sp. Cetonia aeruginosa
Hairy Beetle Epicometis hirta
Glow Worm Lampyris noctiluca
Rustic Sailor Beetle Cantharis rustica
Soldier Beetle sp. Cantharis fusca
Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva
Soldier Beetle sp. Clerus mutillarius
Soldier Beetle sp. Trichodes apiarius
Cardinal Beetle sp. Pyrochroa serraticornis
7-Spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-puntata
22-Spot Ladybird Psyllobora 22-punctata
2-Spot Ladybird Adalia bipuntacta
False Oil Beetle Oedemera nobilis
Oil Beetle sp. Meloe violaceus
Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis
Black-&-Yellow Longhorn Beetle Strangalia cf maculata
Bloody-nosed Beetle Timarcha tenebricosa
Colorado Beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata
Weevil sp. Lixus paraplecticus
Acorn Weevil Curculio venosus
Lesser Diving Beetle Acilius sulcatus

Other arthropods

House Centipede Scutigera coleoptrata
Black Millipede Tachypodoiulus niger

Striped Stretch-spider Tetragnatha striata
Common Stretch-spider Tetragnatha extensa
Garden Spider Araneus diadematus
Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi
Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis
Raft/Great Raft Spider Dolomedes fimbriatus/D. plantarius
Crab Spider sp. Xysticus audax
Crab Spider sp. Xysticus cristatus
Crab Spider sp. Misumena vatia
Crab Spider sp. Synema globosum