I was originally planning on bringing you a couple of photographs of a Yellow Underwing in this post, the latest moth species to pay a visit to my house after dark. Unfortunately it has escaped my clutches and is now hiding somewhere in the spare bedroom so that one will have to wait. Instead I thought I would stick with the insect theme and return to our Gower walk from the end of July where we had a couple of nice new finds. The first of these was a Horse Fly that we spotted on the way into Millwood near the Penrice Estate
I believe that this is a female given that it appeared to be looking for a suitable place to lay eggs, and also due to the fact that the eyes are separated from each other whereas they are joined on the male. In terms of size I would estimate that the body was at least twenty millimeters long which made for a formidable approach when combined with the low but loud drone from its wings. I’m glad that I kept my distance as it is the female of the species that feeds on blood and can give a very nasty bite.
The second interesting insect was found just behind the sand dunes at Oxwich Beach. It was a grasshopper and not hard to miss given that it was bright pink and stood out like a sore thumb.
Depending on which source you read this unusual pink colouration is either down to a genetic mutation or simply the colour of young grasshoppers. Either way it seems to be a rare occurrence to actually see one in the flesh which makes this find doubly exciting. Unfortunately it didn’t stick around for long as I would have liked to get some better photographs for identification purposes, but from this angle I think it is most likely a Common Field Grasshopper.