Outdoor Daily

It was on 13 April I spotted my first very early Early Purple orchids and now they have long gone, again somewhat early in this very dry warm spring.

On today’s walk in the local area I discovered a different kind of orchid. I think it is Dactylorhiza maculata, subspecies ericetorum, with its spotted leaves and spotted whitish flowers, growing on heaths in May to July.

The visitor to this flower is the same beetle I spotted a few days ago on a bindweed flower, and unlike then, it is clearly identifiable by its iridescent green colour, its wing shape and massive thighs* as Oedemera nobilis, a beetle that feeds on pollen.

Mystery solved :) and something learned :) :)

*Of course, on a beetle, the upper segments of the hind legs are not called ‘thighs’, but ‘hind femora’ – in this case ‘swollen hind femore’ which lets us identify this as a male.

Reference books:
W. Keble Martin. 1971. The Concise British Flora in Colour, Book Club Associates, London.
Michael Chinery. 1986. Insects of Bitain and Western Europe, Collins Pocket Guide, Harper Collins, London.

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