Ragwort nectar attracts a host of insects. I find bumble bees, hoverflies, an antler moth and peacock butterfly. The antler moth is named for the pale, antler-like markings on its wings. The tiny red-tailed bumble nectaring on heather looks weighed down by pollen baskets on either hind leg. Once it’s back at the colony how does it download the pollen? At this season heather and ragwort seem most attractive to insects.
Red-tailed bumblebee with cream-coloured pollen baskets on the hind legs. The image shows a close-up of the bumblebee, its head buried in heather blossoms. Juniper berries fresh and green, with a few ripening and bluish.
The hoverfly, Helophilus pendulus and the ragwort on which it fed
Left to right: Antler moth, Cerapteryx graminis, with three images of a hoverfly and the final image of a red-tailed bumble bee
Pleased with this hoverfly image. Any suggestions on ID? I'm working on it. Ragwort continues the nectar source of choice for a range of insects
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)