An abundance of invertebrates

Cephus spinipes, by Penny Frith

This wasp-mimicking sawfly, Cephus spinipes, like most insects, is seen in the spring and summer months, when it becomes active. GiGL currently has a total of 1,387 records of sawflies in Greater London and 56 records of this specific sawfly species (with this amazing photo having been taken in south London). As can be seen from all the pollen attached to the body of this insect, it’s not just bees and butterflies that are important pollinators of plants.

Different insects spend winter in different stages of life. Some will have spent the winter as eggs, some as pupa and others in a resting state of torpor; hiding in soil, under logs, foliage or crevices of buildings or trees. Prior to this, many will have been fattening up over the summer and autumn on blossoms, decaying material, plant sap or whatever the invertebrate’s food source may be. Now that the spring is here, the plants are blossoming again and the temperature is warming, so they will be out looking for food and water once more, as well as mates. All sorts of insects will now be emerging, from bees, hoverflies, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, to ants, caterpillars, shieldbugs and beetles, and we want to know about all of them. So when you’re enjoying this springtime and spotting invertebrates all around, do let us know what you see through our quick online form.  You can also visit the Garden Sawfly Survey’s new website, to learn more about sawflies and to help you to determine the species you have seen.