Saturday, 6 August 2011
Eye-catching Insects (5): Summer Isles Insect
While we were in the north of Scotland, we took an afternoon cruise to the lovely Summer Isles, off Achiltibuie, some way north of Ullapool. It was a very calm, mild but somewhat grey day as we set off, but much to our delight, the sun came out and the intense metallic blues of the ocean were a sight to behold.
Our vessel took us around the island of Tanera Mor, before we landed for a little exploration and some refreshments. The insect life was amazing, and this iridescent green beetle caught my eye. It wasn't going to hang around, so I only managed two photos - and the other was rather fuzzy! The picture below is a cropped close-up to aid identification.
I really hadn't paid much heed to the spots on the creatures back, but having Googled away, I am wondering whether they may be more significant than I had realised. I am wondering whether this could be a species of Green Tiger Beetle, though perhaps 'Leopard Beetle' would be more appropriate since these are definitely spots and not stripes!
The Essex Field Club have announced that Jerry Bowdrey is researching the distribution of this insect in their part of the world. My identification may not be correct, but I would be grateful - out of interest - if anyone was able to let me know. I gather from Buglife that there are 5 species in Britain.
I thought you would like this photo below of some of the other Summer Islanders!