16 March 2010

Flies for fine wines

Yesterday we saw several small flies scooting about on a sticky film of fungus mixed, maybe, with sap on the  stump of a tree felled last year.

Brede High Woods BHW 002

I went back today and was later able to identify the insects as one of the commoner fruit flies (Drosophila subobscura) below.

Brede High Woods BHW 015

Usually they go for fermenting fruits and can be a pest in breweries and distilleries though, according to one account, they "transfer wild yeasts that give fine wines their bouquet."

These were not the only invertebrates active along this particular bank: a queen bumblebee droned by and a marmalade fly (Episyrphus balteatus) settled on a foxglove leaf.

There were more primroses and celandines out today as well as some less conspicuous early developers such as the dog's mercury (Mercurialis perennis) and swan's-neck thyme-moss (Mnium hornum) below.

Brede High Woods BHW 020

 Brede High Woods BHW 001

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