Posted 15th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
Buglife has announced the results of the National Bug Vote
In England, the Long-horned bee won over a third of the votes (34 per cent), with the surprise result being the Seven-spot ladybird, which only came third (22 per cent), despite an initially strong start to the votes.
The Long-horned mining bee gets its name because of the very impressive and exceptionally long antennae that the males have. One of Britain's larger solitary bees, the wonderfully furry insect was once widespread in southern England, but has suffered massive declines and as such, is now largely restricted to the coast.
Andrew Whitehouse from Buglife England said: "It is really fantastic to see the Long-horned bee voted in as England’s favourite invertebrate. The long-horned bee is definitely one of my favourite bees, it can be seen at this time of year in my local patch on the South Devon coast. The Long-horned bee will be a great ambassador for all of our pollinating insects."
The results for England were:
Long-horned bee - 34 per cent
Green shieldbug - 26 per cent
Seven-spot ladybird - 22 per cent
Wart-biter bush cricket - 18 per cent
Scotland opted for the Red mason bee, which managed to edge the Green tiger beetle.
This common species of solitary bee will be found in gardens, churchyards and parks between March and July, and visits many different types of flower. It also plays an important part in pollinating fruit crops, including pears, apples and plums. The bee nest in holes in walls, hollow plant stems and even garden bee hotels.
The results for Scotland are:
Red mason bee - 32 per cent
Green tiger beetle - 25 per cent
Pink hoverfly - 21 per cent
In Wales, the winner was quickly found, with the Fen-raft spider getting half of the votes.
One of Wales' largest and rarest spiders, the Fen raft spider can reach up to 23mm in length. Female fen raft spiders are good mothers, carrying an egg sac with them for approximately three to four weeks prior to weaving a nursery web where the spiderlings hatch.
The mother spider will stay near the web to protect her offspring before they are big enough to be able to fend for themselves.
Fen raft spiders will live around the margins of pools and ditches and can also hunt above and below the water surface. In Wales, they are only found at Crymlyn Bog NNR and along the Tennant Canal.
The results for Wales are:
Fen raft spider - 50 per cent
Ashy mining bee - 26 per cent
Black oil beetle - 18 per cent
Hornet robberfly - six per cent
Image courtesy of Steven Falk