August 7th, 2009, 11:06 PM
August 8th, 2009, 06:03 PM
The top two are an Eristalis sp Hoverfly. Can't be sure which from the photo, but the dark face stripe looks too narrow for tenax and too wide for arbustorum, which leaves pertinax (which is usually narrower than yours and tends to be quite large) and a few others. Of course the photo might be making the stripe more prominent as it looks most like arbustorum to me. The only way into Hovers is to get Stubbs & Falk British Hoverflies - a stunning book. They are great fun and a welcome change from birds in the summer.
The other thing is a Sawfly. You'd need to look at the front of its face to see if it's a Rhogogaster (7 British species) or Tenthredo (27). The AIDGAP key to genera says that T. mesomelas is an abundant green & black member of the latter genus, so this might be a good place for you to start searching. Sawflies (and Hymenoptera in general) are pretty tricky!
The best general insect book for Britain is Chinnery's Insects of Britain & Western Europe (Harper Collins 1986/1997, probably still out of print). Don't go for the same author's Insects of Britain & Northern Europe as it has far smaller species coverage, worse illustrations, too much general text and is generally not a patch on the Western version. The trouble is, it's very difficult to find the good one, although I've a feeling it might have been reprinted last year.
Last edited by Sam Bryo; August 8th, 2009 at 06:25 PM.
Reason: more info added
August 8th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Sam, many thanks for joining on the forum for your reply, Very helpfull.
August 10th, 2009, 07:23 AM
hello sam, looks like i have found the book you mentioned, this is a 2007 edition,http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Insects-of-Bri...d=p3286.c0.m14
so hopefully will be able to pick it up from the bird fair later this month
August 10th, 2009, 11:48 AM
Yes, that's the one. Good for anyone starting out on British insects.
August 10th, 2009, 05:25 PM