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Thursday, 26 March 2020

Aneka's Biology lesson, Thursday 26th March 2020: Ground Ivy

We looked at Ivy and Bee-flies.  Here is another Bee-fly on Ground-ivy.  You can see its fixed proboscis, its feeding tube, as it hovers over a Ground-ivy flower.
Despite its name, Ground-ivy is actually a member of the dead-nettle family and is not closely related to Ivy. It is an evergreen, creeping plant of woodlands, hedgerows and damp ground. It often forms clumps, spreading by means of overground runners that frequently root. It has a strong smell and violet flowers that appear from March until June.   source; 
The Bee-fly can suck nectar from such long flowers with its relatively long proboscis.
Remember that the Bee-fly is parasitic on solitary bees.  And many other parasitic insects feed on this flower too.
This is a Nomad Bee from 6th April 2017 in my Cuckfield garden on Ground-ivy.  Nomad bees are tiny, wasp-like, kleptoparasites ( which will target unsealed pollen-stocked nest cells created by their Mining bee hosts and lay their own eggs inside.  Look out for them in the coming days.  source;

Here is another species, a  Broad-banded Nomad Bee, in my garden from 16th May 2016

And on the same date in my garden, another kleptoparasitic bee, a Common Mourning Bee on Ground-ivy.   Note its five eyes.  Click to expand the pic's.
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