A wildlife diary of the western Isle Of Wight's beautiful countryside!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
After having spent the day cooped up in the house working on the computer I took the opportunity to escape early this evening and walk down to Colwell Bay and, then, along the promenade to Totland Bay.
As I walked down the steps to Colwell Bay I was faced with this fiercesome looking creature perched on the hand-rail!
It's Volucella zonaria - what I'm calling the Mega-hover. It's a humungous hoverfly with a wing span that's not too far short of 5cm!
It was in the 1940s that this giant suddenly started to appear regularly in the UK and the last few years has seen a dramatic expansion of its range northwards. The larvae develop in wasps' nests where they seem to both scavenge around and eat the growing occupants!
They're harmless.....but they would give anyone a shock if met head on!
I was also pleased to record this plant in Totland Bay. It's Golden Samphire which, according to the IOW Flora (2003) is confined to the Newtown & Medina estuaries. There is a large population on Hurst Spit which can be seen from this spot and may very well be the source of this plant.