Vote for your best bug
WHAT’S your favourite bug? For those of us who sit out in our gardens on sunny days insects provide much interest and entertainment.
And yet insects can cause extreme reactions despite the fact they are probably 100 times smaller than we are.
The majority of people who are terrified of bees, moths and flies have probably never been exposed to them on a regular basis. Then we have to ask why are people scared of moths but not butterflies? Is it because they are creatures of the night?
In an attempt to highlight the importance of insects and to make them a little more ‘cuddly’ the Royal Society of Biology has come up with a poll to vote for the UK’s favourite.
The idea is to stress the vital role that the UK’s 20,000 species of insect plays in the environment and to highlight the threats to these creatures and the destruction of habitats.
The Royal Society of Biology has come up with its shortlist of ten.
In our region the main ones would be the buff-tailed bumblebee, the small tortoiseshell butterfly, the emperor dragonfly, the black garden ant, the green shield bug, the seven-spot ladybird, the marmalade hoverfly and the garden tiger moth.
I’m not sure that ants will be too popular and, if they are, why not add wasps to the equation? My favourites are brilliant red and black burnett moths and common blue butterflies that appear in spring.
However, any kind of bumblebee makes a welcome addition to your garden and watching big, chunky dragonflies cruising along like fighter aeroplanes is breathtaking.
Of the Top 10 I think I’ll be voting for the bumblebee, not least because these beautiful, busy and funny insects have suffered declines over the past couple of decades.
I am enjoying the descriptions of the insects by the Royal Society of Biology.
They go: l Seven-spot ladybird – the Divine Messenger l Garden tiger moth – the Woolly Bear l Small tortoiseshell – the House Sitter l Black garden ant – the Socialite l Buff-tailed bumblebee – the Bees Knees l Large beefly – the Impersonator l Marmalade hoverfly - the Gardener’s Friend l Green shieldbug – Kicking up a stink l Stag beetle – the Big Daddy l Emperor dragonfly – Lord of the Skies
For more details on each of the species, you can go to the poll itself and vote at rsb.org.uk/ get-involved/ biologyweek/favouriteuk-insect-poll.
l● Clockwise from above:Ladybird; Buff-tailed bumblebee; Tiger moth