Porcellionides pruinosus

Hundreds of these woodlice were found on a large active manure heap in Callow Hill. This is their specialist habitat and their numbers can expand quickly in suitable conditions. There are not many records from Worcestershire, so one to look out for. The adults have a distinct glaucous bloom when found and white legs, and run very fast when disturbed.

Porcellionides pruinosus, Callow Hill, 2 September 2015 © Rosemary Winnall

Black-headed Velvet Ant, Myrmosa atra

Despite its name, this is not an ant but an ant-like wasp in the family Mutillidae (Hymenoptera) in which there are 3 British species. These are parasites of halictine bees and crabronid wasps. The females have no wings, but are transported by the male whilst in cop. This female was found on bare sandy ground at Bliss Gate. This one looked like a queen ant, although had conspicuous waving antennae. They can sting if provoked and apparently stridulate when handled.

Black-headed Velvet Ant, Myrmosa atra, Bliss Gate ©Rosemary Winnall