Friday, 24 July 2020

Insects in the Valley of the Courtineau


The Courtineau is a small stream that runs roughly from north to south, meeting the Manse River between Sainte Maure de Touraine and Saint Epain. My local botany club has long taken an interest in it and it has a rich biodiversity in general. Recently I was asked to contribute my insect records to an inventory that is being produced for the valley, so I thought I would share some of my better photos from several visits over several years.

Male reed beetle Plateumaris sericea on Ladys Smock Cardamine pratensis 
(Fr. Cardamine des prés).
Plateumaris sericea. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Male Violet Oil Beetle Meloe violaceus (Fr. Méloé violet).
Violet Oil Beetle Meloe violaceus. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Left, Castor Bean Tick Ixodes ricinus (Fr. Tique du mouton
and two Ornate Cow Tick Dermacentor reticulatus, right.
Left, Castor Bean Tick Ixodes ricinus and two Ornate Cow Tick Dermacentor reticulatus, right. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Male Orange Tip butterfly Anthocharis cardamines (Fr. l'Aurore) on 
Lady's Smock Cardamine pratensis.
Orange-tip butterfly Anthocharis cardamines. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

A Dark-edged Bee Fly Bombylius major (Fr. la Grande bombyle) nectaring on a garden primula. Dark-edged Bee Flies are important pollinators of primulas.
Dark-edged Bee Fly Bombylius major. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

This Common Vetch Vicia sativa (Fr. Vesce cultivée) is guarded by Pavement Ants Tetramorium caespitum who receive a reward from the plant in the form of nectar produced from the black spots near the leaf axils. The ants eat or remove other insects that would eat the plant.
Pavement Ant Tetramorium caespitum. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

This bee fly (either Bombylius or Systoechus sp, I can't tell from this photo) knows where the real reward is on Tassel Hyacinth -- their lower, dull looking flowers are full of nectar.
Bombyliinae. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.


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2 comments:

chm said...

In the third photo, why the tick on the left is called Castor Bean in English [Ricin in French] and Tique du mouton in French [sheep in English] ? Is Castor Bean - Ricin - the host plant of that tick?

Simon said...

I assume the English name describes what it looks like, the French name describes what it does

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