Promise of a hot summer!

Promise of a hot summer!

IMG_0965Gerry spotted several of this insect among our olives and Eric Gabiot (who photographed insects here last year) told us it is the Libelloides coccajus, or Ascalaphe in French (because it is in the Ascalaphidae family). We had to double about like young chamois to catch up with it and take the photo as it is fast-flying. It attacks other insects in flight and its larvae are fearsome predators on the soil.

It is rare and only lays its eggs on perennial herbaceous plants in meadows which are not used for grazing, so we’re doing the right thing here only cutting the grass once a year which allows a full growing cycle and promotes this interesting bio-diversity.

The Ascalaphe is a good sign: hopefully it will eat millions of the olive fruit fly and it’s thermophile so presages a very hot summer.

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