As the bug hotels have been a firm feature of Regent’s Place for a while now, we decided to have a look in and around them to see what creepy crawlies are living on campus. Below are some species which have been spotted by our landscaping and biodiversity team throughout the year.
It is important to encourage these insects because they play a vital role in the food chain as they are the sole source of protein for many bird species.
Hoverflies are abundant throughout the UK with over 200 species known to reside on our island. Most hoverfly species are wasp and bee mimics, they have no sting or any form of attack, but they take on the camouflage of insects that do, to deter predators.
Hoverflies feed on nectar, honeydew (produced by aphids) and pollen, this makes them a pollinator, when flying from plant to plant to consume the pollen and nectar and transfer it to other plants of the same species.
You will see these little flies hovering around a variety of plants at Regent’s Place.
Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar
This caterpillar has been seen at Regent’s Place usually toward to end of summer. This caterpillar shape is the reason for its name at it is supposed to resemble an elephant’s trunk. They have large spots along their body to resemble eyes with the front resembling a large head. This is in the hope they will look snake-like and therefore unappetising to a predator. These insects overwinter as a pupa and emerge in May the following year as a large pink and olive-green moth.
Yellow Underwing moth
These are one of our most common species of large moth and are found throughout Britain. Although they can have varying patterns, a yellow hinge wing bordered with black is common in most incidences. They are often seen in June through to October and are abundant on the South coast of the UK.
Angle Shades moth
The Angle Shades moth resembles a withering autumn leaf as fantastic camouflage against predators. They are usually seen from May – October because of 2 summer broods but are one of the few species that can be seen all year round. The caterpillars of these species are polyphagous, so they will eat a wide variety of plants including several we have at Regent’s Place.
This is one of the most common species of Grasshopper in the UK and can be found all over the country. Adults are seen from June until late autumn. They produce a ‘song’ which sounds like a short chirrup repeated in short intervals produced. They produce this by rubbing their hind legs against one of their forewings. This is to attract a mate before they lay eggs in soil ready to hatch the following summer.
Buff-tails are one of the more common species of Bumblebee and are widespread and abundant in different habitats across the UK. They become active from February/March through to October and are one of the largest bee species to visit our campus. They hibernate in nests though the winter which are in the ground, often in abandoned mice nests. These beautiful little bees are quite a common site across Regent’s Place, with them taking a particular liking to the new sedum roof garden on top of the underground car park entrance near Warren Street.
Have you seen any signs of biodiversity flourishing at Regent’s Place? Share your pictures with us on Twitter and Instagram by tagging @RegentsPlace and using #RegentsBIO.