A different sort of ‘cute’?

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It’s easy to say what ‘cute’ is. Furry. Big eyes. Eyebrows. But should we have time for the less obviously appealing? Isn’t this froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) cute, in his own way?We all know froghoppers, if not by sight of their adult form then by the ‘cuckoo spit’ that envelopes their larvae and is seen throughout our gardens in spring. But seeing one close up, eye-to-eye, is always a surprise.

It’s not the only thing that can surprise you. Everybody knows a bumblebee when they see one. But what about flies that mimic bees?

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Easy to assume at a glance this is a bumblebee, but the single pair of wings, the stubby little antennae, the shape of the eyes, the way it moves, would all tell us this is actually a species of hoverfly.

When we get low down and personal with the stuff happening at smaller scales in our gardens, there is great beauty. The flower of an Astrantia can be home to a scorpion fly:

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And there are true bumblebees too, when they are not being mistaken for cuckoo bees.

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A humble blow fly, so often seen as nothing but a pest when they are around us and our food and homes is an iridescent green beauty when observed up close.

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There we are. Only a fraction of the insect life you can find in your garden, but all beautiful in their own ways. All interesting. Cuteness is in the eye of the beholder?

 

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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