a french garden

Definitely a nasty!

9 Comments

A comment made by http://missapismellifera.com made me think and gave me a challenge.  I share what I see and find beautiful in the garden; the flowers, the bumble bees, the pretty birds but I wondered if I am giving a balanced or rose-tinted view of life.

I set out to find a nasty.  But will I succeed?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the closer we get to nature the greater the  array of creatures we notice. Then our appreciation mellows and mutates without us being aware of exactly when our sensibilities started to change.

Solitary black fly Asilidae (?)

I saw these flies just a short distance away from the garden in the fields.  I think they belong to the family Asilidae (but stand ready to be corrected).  They look more like large wasps or small dragonflies.  These are predatory insects and can take smaller insects in flight.  The family includes many mimics.  Even one that can mimic a bumble bee!

Flies mating

The bristles on their legs serving here to steady themselves on the grass are also used to trap their victims and to carrying them off to be consumed in the comfort of a safe, shady spot.

Wasp-like body but different mate

There is a marked dimorphism between the male and female flies.  Who would want to be an entomologist  when there is such a difference between the male and female that if I had seen them apart I would have assumed that they were different species?

Now I wonder, have I found a nasty or does anyone like these flies?

These flies have now been identified as Dasypogon diadema by http://daysontheclaise.blogspot.com.  Thank you so much Susan!

Advertisements

Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

9 thoughts on “Definitely a nasty!

  1. Erm, don’t think I dislike them Amelia. Do they bite? If so I might be inclined to dislike them. Perhaps not the prettiest of insects but fulfilling a role nonetheless; perhaps some of their prey are, in turn, nasties? And they keep those pesky entomologists on their toes as well. Dave

    Like

  2. They look like they bite to me! But as you say there is beauty in almost all the creatures that visit our gardens; I’ll see what I can find as a nasty to post and you can set up the challenge to all bloggers and be the judge! Christina

    Like

  3. I really enjoyed this. I completely agree with how you describe the process of becoming more aware of nature. I haven’t seen these flies over here, yet. I do not require my bugs to be pretty so I wouldn’t mind encountering these.

    Like

  4. These look like the robberfly Dasypogon diadema and you are quite right – the first time I saw them I assumed they were different species. I love them and this species has a fascinating lifecycle. They do not bite, although I think they are physically capable of doing so.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s