Some flowers are ‘going over’ early July on a cliff-top flower meadow in East Devon. Plenty of Knapweed (Centuarea .sp) and Cat’s-ear (Hypochoeris radicata) still present which is reflected in the number of flies associated to these plants; dozens of Tephritis vespertina found on Cat’s-ear, and plenty of Chaetostomella cylindrica associated with Knapweed were present. Interestingly the numbers of each species mirrored the abundance of ‘their’ plant, with more Cat’s-ear present overall, the numbers of T. vespertina were higher than C. cylindrica. A solitary T. neesii was found, associated with Ox-eye daisy and other Leucanthemum species, they were at the ‘wrong’ end of the field, although Ox-eye daisy was present in sparse amounts in other areas of the meadow.
The habitat is a long standing meadow, planted 25 years ago; worryingly, the amount of bees present was generally low in comparison to Diptera. Although there were plenty of Red-tailed Bumblebees (Bombus lapidarius) present on the Knapweed, sweeping over an extensive area including the adjacent hedge only produced 3 other bees! As the weather was warm with a gentle breeze this was not expected. A later planned visit, unfortunately, had to be postponed, as horizontal rain, driven by strong on-shore winds wasn’t going to be too helpful! The meadow is being cut soon, so we will return in early June next year and carry out more surveys.