Bugs and Butterflies

Abney's insects are perhaps the stars of this valuable ecosystem – doing vital work pollinating, breaking down dead wood and being food for other animals!

Though they can be overlooked, once you start looking and listening, especially on hot spring and summer days, you'll see and hear the most wonderful display.

At first you may think the buzzing is all coming from bumble bees, and there are many species of bumble bee pootling around Abney's blossoms. But look more closely and you might see:

 Pocota personata-60cf47ed0e632e9a0d3c8c354432706f.jpg

Pocota personata

This fluffy creature is not a bumble bee, but a hoverfly in bumble costume, Pocota personata. Very rare, it was last recorded in London in 1966. Proof of the importance of Abney's veteran poplars, the larvae develop in rot holes high up in old trees.

A genuine bee, and also genuinely scarce, that lives in Abney is the girdled mining bee (Andrena labiata). 

Andrenalabiata-0baff13aecfc75c1bee2ef1223f67e2b.jpeg
These are solitary mining bees so they live alone in underground chambers, but many nest next to each other. Girdled mining bees are nationally scarce because they only live in parts of SE England. 

Abney is also home to some beautiful and rare moths and butterflies. This astonishing looking creature is Adela reaumurella – part of a group of micro moths called longhorns (for obvious reasons). Their larvae feed on dead oak leaves.

Adelareaumurellamale_1-a2c98b971f89f96b4d375afe3d489d70.jpeg

This stunning butterfly isn't content with just displaying brilliant orange wingtips - from which it gets its name…

Orangetip-2c2c64ec05e669c392902ef7d5da8d9d.jpeg

It also has crazy inkblot-test-style markings on its underwings:

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There are hundreds more species of crawling, scuttling, burrowing, slithering and fluttering invertebrates all over Abney Park.

 

Thanks to Russell Miller for text and images.

 

Park opening times

Abney Park is open from 8am year round and closes at varying times. 

The current opening hours are 8 am – 6:30 pm daily.

 

The Visitors Centre

is usually open from
10am – 3pm,  
Monday to Friday,
though times vary
so please call before
making a special visit.

Contact Details

Abney Park, Stoke Newington High Street,
London N16 0LH

Tel: 0207 275 7557

info@abneypark.org