Fringe Box



Letter: You Can Find Insect Wildlife in Every Park and Garden

Published on: 19 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2020

From Harry Eve

There may be something of interest lurking in any tree, bush, verge or your local park. I found this female green crab spider on a tree in my garden on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I found a male on the same tree. Social distancing does not apply to spiders (although it can be a wise strategy for the males!).

Damselflies are beginning to appear and you may spot some in the Castle Grounds at Peak’s Pond.

The following photos were taken elsewhere in previous years and it would be interesting to know how many species live in the pond in the centre of Guildford.

The large red damselfly has been emerging from my garden pond in recent days. The one in the photo was using Red Clover as a perch.

Spot the difference between the males of these two common species.

They are, top, the azure damselfly (male) with squared-off U mark at the top of the abdomen and common blue damselfly (male) with “mushroom” mark in the same place (it can be just a spot).

The blue-tailed damselfly is easier to identify.

A grass snake was a recent visitor to my garden pond.

While this young slow worm had also taken a dip. Apparently this is not unusual behaviour.

But remember, if the area you are searching is busy with people trying to maintain social distance it is best not to linger while inspecting the goods.

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Responses to Letter: You Can Find Insect Wildlife in Every Park and Garden

  1. Juliet Hills Reply

    April 20, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Yes, unfortunately they also come indoors. I’ve had ants, very early in the year for that but lots of them. Luckily the little poison traps work very well, and I noticed a bird gorging on them so now I know exactly where they came in to the house.

    Seriously, though, just being in the northern hemisphere is such a help, know the next eight weeks bring longer and warmer days up to the solstice. And because the streets are so quiet, we can hear the birds singing.

    • Harry Eve Reply

      April 21, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      My technique is to tell the ants to stay in the garden where they belong and, strangely, it seems to work!

      A more likely reason is that having explored and failed to find an adequate food supply, they decide it isn’t worth the effort. I never use lethal methods. What if a poisoned ant survived long enough to be eaten by a bird?

  2. Juliet Hills Reply

    April 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    A good catch there. Everything touches everything else, doesn’t it?

    I don’t know if the ants died indoors or managed to get back to the nest. And I don’t know if poison would cause pain or death to birds, but the packet does say to keep it away from pets. Thank you so much for the warning. I will rethink this strategy as a result of your care.

    Telling them works with mosquitoes, but I had not applied it to ants. My own issue with them is that if they get into the cat’s food dish he gets bitten. When I see them I put his bowl into a slightly larger bowl of water, which they don’t cross. Of course, evolution might offer them the chance to learn to swim over a period of what? Years? Aeons?

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