I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Friday, 21 July 2017


I'm afraid I haven't found any interesting creepy crawlies this week.
I have assisted in sorting the combine but there was no rush as the weather has turned a trifle damp. Coventry Fencing arrived at the crack of breakfast time and the tele-loader hadn't got it's forks on so that was another job which I'm too old and feeble for. Never mind, I found the strength and with the help of a big sledge hammer he's unloaded and on his way. What a happy Scottish lorry driving bunny.
I found a couple of soggy cheese wafers and treated the hens. Molly doesn't like cream puffs but Alf risks a peck to grab his share.

Both dogs are ready for a hair cut and are booked in for the eleventh of August which happens to be the day before Kinross show. Hopefully folk will go Ohh and Arrgh when they see them looking and smelling so good.
Have fun.

Sunday, 16 July 2017


The title is from The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
This morning I found hundreds of these larvae all slithering along in the same direction. I tried to influence their course with an LED light but it had no effect. I have no idea what they will grow into.
After much deliberation I have come to the conclusion that these are Fungus Gnat larvae.
Updated on the 18th of July.

Thursday, 13 July 2017


Tachinid flies are far from my favourite insects but I like these images.

Unfortunately despite twenty hours, sorry, minutes research I can't identify it.

 It's been a grand few days and the wild raspberries are starting to ripen, it looks like an abundant crop, the brambles are looking as if they will also carry a bumper crop and I found a small clump of gooseberries. The latter are not quite ripe yet but I'll check regularly as they seem favourite Starling fodder; I'll try and get there first....Little buggers can gobble the lot in an hour. I am investigating making Raspberry Ripple ice cream. I don't have a freezer so will use dry ice. It's frozen carbon dioxide.
 A few years ago I got some free from a supermarket for shrink fitting a big end journal into crank shaft webs. The big end pin was massive to middling at about three inches diameter varying dramatically where it had been chaveled by the con rod and the only way to resurrect the crankshaft other than metal spraying and posh expensive grinding was to chop the old one out with the ever faithful angle grinder and machine a new one to be popped in. The chopping out took a couple of hours each side but setting the job up took a week. Two fixtures on an old Dean Smith and Grace lathe. One to pre-drill and rough bore the webs then another to clamp them to the cross slide whilst a boring bar was mounted between centres. The job lasted ages as then what remained of the old big end white metal had to be melted out. The big end made good. A TIG welder lots of pre-heat and a quick bore job did that. White metal, Babbit I seem to recall it's called, cast back in round a sand core cured with CO2, forget what the sand additive was but it was impressive. Came out rock hard, I guess Viagra. Then we bored and scraped to be a dippty doo fit. I did it all but the scraping and the core bit. I am very slow to special needs when it comes to coring and scraping, more like scrapping is my fitting. In workshops of yor there were some wonderful expressions reserved for apprentices and crap craftsmen. Two to ponder on.
"Eee lad, I could swallow swarf and shit a better job."
"Good enough is near enough but near enough is useless."

Should I win the lottery....not likely as I don't do the tax on the poor Pinchalot......I'd like a vintage machine shop. A Hardinge tool room lathe would be first on my list and a big Dean Smith and Grace not far behind. Millers, well Bridgeport would do but I have used an old Milwaukee it was a dream of a vertical milling machine. All the bits of course add up. Tools, tool grinders, vices, cut off saws a surface table and measuring tackle all consume vast amounts of cash. Welders are cheapish.
Have fun whilst I dream.

Friday, 7 July 2017


A while ago I posted some pictures of Ladybird larva. Experience has forced me to re-access my identifying them as Pine Ladybird larva. I have looked high and low for a Pine Ladybird without success, I have found several Larch Ladybirds hence the correction.
The Larva.

Larch Ladybird; Aphidecta obliterata. Beautiful little creatures and they take the trouble to add a 'W' for Ward onto their pronotum. A much appreciated gesture. 
I've had early morning fun watching Ringlet Butterflies.

Aphantopus hyperantus.

Bombus lapidarius; A Red Tailed Bumble Bee drone. Eyes bee seeing you.

Saturday, 1 July 2017


I love confusing myself. Insects are very confusing and so are rivets to some folk.
 I received an email from a lad who has built himself a hydraulic hot rivet squeezer. He said it's leaving a lot of squashed metal on the job and the plate edges are distorting. These are domed headed rivets, button heads to normal folk; so both tool heads are hemispheres less a bit. I was working from memory but rivet length is 1.5 rivet diameter plus the combined thickness of the metal to be joined and add a bit for pressure vessels. You also leave a minimum of two combined metal thicknesses from the edge of the plate being joined. Maybe one. Nay two sounds sensible. A pound to a penny there is an EU directive running to five hundred pages on it if anyone can be arsed to look. Pity they hadn't put their minds to building cladding, maybe they have but nobody could be arsed to look.

These insects are really small about a millimetre or two.

In the first picture you see a Harvestman carrying red spider mites, I believe it's symbiotic. In the second you see a red spider mite eating an insect. Fair enough but red two spot spiders, this has two spots if you enlarge the image, it also has a baby one joining in, are supposed to be veggi and yellow after their growing up three bits. There is a predatory red one, Phytoseiulus perssimillis. It doesn't look like this which I think is Tetranychus urticae. Why is it omnivorous? Why do folk have problems with riveting? The more insects I find the more muddled up I get.

I found a grand little beastie this week Its a lace hopper the image is rubbish because it hopped before I got another go.
A bit blurry but it is one and thank you Trevor at Three Counties for telling me. You could have told me the chances of finding another were zilch, spent a couple of hours in inclement weather trying to get a perfect shot. Never seen another. Bugger.
Have fun.

Sunday, 25 June 2017


I had a good couple of walks this morning. I didn't find anything rare but I did snap a little above my pay grade. I'll start with two flies on a blade of grass.
These are male and female Golden Dung Flies; Scathophaga stercoraria. I'll leave you to sort out the sexes. If you look at them enlarged you will see the pseudopupil. A fly's eye is made up of several receptors called ommatidia The dark bit is the part seeing you as it's absorbing light. You can also see the haltere under the wing; it looks like a stick with a blob on the end. This counterbalances the fly in flight. It has one the other side to stop it flying in circles.
This is a Crane Fly; Nephrotoma quadrifaria. It is an attractive wee beast but a pound to a penny it's larva eat barley roots. Naughty larva.

I am very pleased with this. I had a wander down to the burn looking for caddis fly larva but found this newly hatched beauty climbing up a stick.  It is a Mayfly, possibly Serratella ignita. Mayflies are interesting as they have two adult incarnations one as a Dun and then as a Spinner. I think this is a Dun. Life is never a smooth ride, whilst taking this I crouched a little too far and my welly filled with burn water.
 I am getting rather a backlog of insects so may have another post when I've identified them.
Have fun.

Thursday, 22 June 2017


I have a few more insects but before I get to them I'd like to pass on a bit of free software I found.
I like playing with 3D software but if I want to export designs to a machine then Blender is a bit of a pain. Most CNC machines use a version of G-code. This free stuff will convert SVG files to G-code; well enough for profile cutting, routing  and such like. MAKERCAM If you don't have Adobe Illustrator then you can use Inkscape to produce SVG files from JPEG or most other image formats. It seems to be 2D but should work on a lathe. I'll look into it further.
Here are a selection of insects.
This is a better view of the Pine Ladybird larva. It's eating breakfast.
I am not sure about this but I think it is a Mirid Bug nymph. Orthonotus rufifrons. I do know it's very small and pretty.
This is a Sycamore Aphid; Drepanosiphum platanoidis. A big name for a little creature. The two tubes behind it's legs are breathing snorkels and all aphids have them.. I think.
I'm not 100% sure but I am going for a Common Leaf Weevil; Phyllobius pyri. I find weevils comical but I don't own any plants.

A Mirid Bug; Calocoris stysi. I suspect this is a new one as the older ones have two yellow triangles at the end of the wing case. A wonderful little beast but a tad lively.
Have fun.

Monday, 19 June 2017


I found this little creature yesterday. It had me baffled but I asked on iSpot and a knowledgeable lady suggested a Striped Ladybird larva. I think I now have a positive ID.
Here are it's pictures.

I am almost certain it's a Pine Ladybird larva; Exochomus quadipustulatus. The adults are black and have four red spots as the name suggests. However some only have two spots. I'll keep an eye out for a grown up one.
I have one photograph to finish off this post and it's an entire Sabre Wasp. I took the 100mm macro lens out as the MP-E65mm can't fit a whole one in.

Thursday, 15 June 2017


This afternoon I managed to catch a beautiful lady. Here she is for your delectation and edification.

A female Great Diving Beetle; Dytiscus marginalis. As you can see I had her in a Tupperware sandwich box. The males look very similar but have smooth wing cases. She is around 30mm long and though I tried to dry her out on the grass she wouldn't open her wings and fly.
Here are a few more views of her.

I did notice a male but failed to net it. I'd like to get a larva. They are much longer and slimmer and can give a nasty nip. I'll see if I can find one.

Thursday, 8 June 2017


I went out early this morning in the hope of finding dozy insects. I was sitting next to the pile of fallen spruce trees and hoping to find either Sabre Wasps or their prey the Horned Wasp. I got close.

 Closeish. This is a Longhorned Beetle. Rhagium bifasciatum.
I'll go out again before the rain and have another go. There is little else to do today. I could vote but I refuse to vote when the choice is between bad and awful.

Monday, 5 June 2017


Insects have been a week or two late this year. I blame all these elections. I only post now when I see a new one for me and after three days messing have this beauty.

It’s a Giant Ichneumon Wasp or Sabre Wasp. Rhyssa persuasoria. I have seen them before but these are the first snaps I have managed. They are a little shy and SIT- STAY they don’t understand. I’m not surprised neither do my dogs.
I know it is a trivial posting pictures of wasps when the country is fighting the religion of peace but hey hum none of my family died so a tea light will do.