Walking around with a camera one comes home with all sorts of pictures of bugs and other wildlife, each of which, with modern digital technology, took seconds to take. Hours can then be spent in sometimes futile attempts to identify each beastie. With this one, I've failed. It's a shame, as this really was a very spectacular insect, and the picture hardly does justice to him.
This gorgeous chap is a green tiger beetle, which must be fairly common as he appears on most beetle identification websites. He's said to frequent sandy heaths and well-drained soils, which describes pretty accurately where we found him.
This identification is, I hope, fairly straightforward: it's a dor beetle. This doesn't sound a very exciting name, nor does the beetle look in any way important, but it's a member of the scarab family of dung beetles. Anyone who had seen Tutankhamun's death mask and other jewellery will know that the dung beetle was worshipped in ancient Egypt: seeing the persistent way in which these beetles rolled sperical balls of dung across the desert, the ancient Egyptians imagined it was one of these who pushed the sun across the sky each day.
This butterfly, resting on a dead bracken stalk, is a green hairstreak, easily identified because British butterflies have the good fortune to have an excellent identification website here.
Because we don't have too many dragon and damsel flies in the UK, identifying them isn't too difficult either. This is a four-spotted chaser, so called for the dark spots on each of its four wings. Identification is helped by another good website, here. These dragonflies are the first to be around in May, but are still sluggish in the cooler weather - hence the photograph.
There's a good moth and butterfly identification website here, but that does't mean it's easy to identify one moth, like this one, out of the hundreds that are flittering around the place. This is one of the many small moths that can be seen amongst the heather on a warm day. They're mostly about 15mm across, and have very erratic flight paths, seeming to specialise in crashing into foliage rather than landing on it.
Matters become even worse with this one, which I cannot find, pretty as it is. He has a very distinctive wing shape, clear markings, and thin antennae - but they don't help.
But this one, with its very characteristic shape, distinctive colouring, slightly tattered wing edge, and that stripe running across its wings, should be easy. Score on this one: 0/10. Perhaps I should stop bothering to take pictures of moths.