Ref:
Date:
Location:
Copyright
Field Notes/Blog

Helping to Keep the Midge Population Down

The hot weather is great and even in the high Pennines it feels like summer. On Sunday I stupidly got my legs burned during a walk onto the summit of Cross Fell - yep that's true, it has actually been possible to wear shorts on Cross Fell and not freeze to death.

The only slight fly in the ointment as it were, are the midges, mosquitoes and cleg-flies (Horse-fly) that seem to have survived the winter unscathed.


08-1177 Female Mosquito Culiseta Annulata Drawing Blood
Mosquito


03-4089 Macro Closeup of a Cleg-Fly Haematopota pluvialis Showing Eye Colour
Cleg-Fly Haematopota pluvialis (Horse-fly) beautiful eyes but they do hurt when they bite


Of course it is not all bad news and insect eating birds are doing pretty well out of it and despite, or perhaps even because of the hard winter and late spring some of the flora also appears to be doing very well.

I spotted these Round Leaved Sundew, (Drosera rotundifolia) near Cow Green reservoir yesterday and it looks like they have been doing their bit to keep the midge population down.


06D-9881b Round Leaved Sundew Drosera rotundifolia with Trapped Insects Upper Teesdale County Durham UK
Round Leaved Sundew Drosera rotundifolia with trapped midges


































These tiny carnivorous plants can be found in boggy areas with acidic soil and use a sticky substance to trap any insects that touch them. Once trapped the insects slowly dissolve and provide the nutrients the plants need.


06D-9849a Round Leaved Sundew Drosera rotundifolia with Trapped Insects Upper Teesdale County Durham UK
Unlucky ant


These Sundews have not flowered yet so it will be a good excuse to head back up there to get some more pics and video of this part of the life cycle as well.

All images/text copyright David Forster please do not use without written permision