A species of hoverfly

Temnostoma vespiforme

preview hoet 00059 temnostoma vespiforme wespen moderholzschwebfliegeThere are numerous different species of insect showing a distinct wasp mimicry providing protection from predators. Most of these animals are completely harmless for us – and this species as well.

This animal belongs to the insect family hoverflies (Syrphidae). The adults are often seen hovering or nectaring on flowers. Its flight is characterized by only short distances flown including very abrupt turns. Again and again the insect seems to stop in mid-air with buzzing wings.

This species of hoverflies prefers moist leafy and mixed forests. The main part of its german name („Moderholzschwebfliege“) is derived from the nourishment of the larvae. They consume a wide range of decaying and soft wood (maple, oak, lime tree and other one). The adults stay mainly with blossoms of different shrubs and perennial flowers.

A species of longhorn beetle

Monochamus sartor

preview hoet 00036 monochamus sartor langhornbockTypical for most beetles is that they possess two differently arranged pairs of wings. The hard forewings are not used for flight, but must be raised in order to move the hind flight membranous wings. That can be well observed with a large beetle like this one.

This beetle lives dispersed - and unfortunately ever more rarely - in coniferous forests, in the alpine region up to the timber line. It flies on hot summer days. Its flight noise is rather loud and lets one think of a small helicopter. When landing, one can observe the complicated folding mechanism of its wings well. It takes some time, until the insect has completely folded up and shut its wings again.

Mountain Burnet

Zygaena exulans

preview hoet 00086 Zygaena exulans HochalpenwidderchenBurnet moths are members of a small family of butterflies who show remarkably colored marks and drawings. Those species native in Central Europe are rather small butterflies, which are closely bound to their habitat and the plants growing there.

Mountain Burnet is found over years on the same alpine meadows during its flight time in summer. A decline in numbers of these moths at a certain location can be referred directly to a changed environmental situation.

A species of sawfly with its prey

Rhogogaster viridis

preview hoet 00051 rhogogaster viridis gruene blattwespe fem mit beuteWe know about 9 000 species of sawflies. The nourishment of most of them consists of vegetable material, at least mainly. But there is a smaller group of species hunting other insects for example this species. Often the larvae of different beetles belong to their prey.

Among the genus Rhogogaster we find three species in Central Europe which cannot be easily differentiated from each other. Typically for the shown species is the lightgreen colouring of the abdomen segments, with only one clear, oblong blackening in the center of the segments.