In the week of 15-19 June six species were added to the Edinburgh Garden’s wildlife list, taking it over the 750 mark. “Species 750” was a minute black pollen beetle, Brachypterus glaber, found in abundance feeding on the male flowers of stinging nettle Urtica dioica not far from the John Hope Gateway on 16 June. There are two Brachypterus pollen beetles that feed on nettle pollen; the other is B. urticae. In some areas both can occur together. B. glaber has black legs whereas B. urticae has paler, reddish legs. All the beetles seen on 16 June had black legs and so were identified as Brachypterus glaber.
“Species 700” was Tree Bumblebee, recorded on 6th July last year – see http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/12094 . It has therefore taken almost a year to add fifty species to the Garden’s wildlife list – partly because of this year’s cold spring which has not encouraged many insects to fly, and it is invertebrates that make up the bulk of the additions to the list. Strangely, a few minutes before I found the pollen beetles, I had photographed a Tree Bumblebee on Spiraea in the South Border!