Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I like it when insects position themselves so that you can get something other than the usual 'top-shot', because it makes it more of a portrait than a straight photograph:

You have to be quick, though: ladybirds are predators and pursue their prey quite rapidly. Anticipation is everything.

I followed the flight of this micromoth until it landed and I got a few shots as it rested. Many of the micromoths are at least as handsome as the easier-to-see macromoths. Ancylis badiana is a good example of that, at about 10mm long:

Germander Speedwell starts off blue, but turns violet once it has been pollinated. Maybe it's a signal to bees that they'd be better off visiting somewhere else.

(Incidentally, the stem leading out of the picture towards mid-right shows the diagnostic twin rows of hairs.)

My first Orange Tip butterflies of the year, and it's a mating pair (what did I say about no time being wasted?). The one on the right is the male: you can just make out the orange of his wing-tips:

The presence of the Orange Tip in my patch means that Cardamine will very soon be in flower. The local butterflies are totally dependent on the plant and their emergence is tightly synchronised with it. (They are also known to use Garlic Mustard, Honesty and Dames Violet, so those might be the foodplant in your area).

An early glimpse of what looks to be the Garden Tiger moth caterpillar:


The Weaver of Grass said...

As usual, lovely photographs. The orange tip is my favourite butterfly - we get them a lot in the fields here in Yorkshire, but I have no idea which plant attracts them.
We also of course get plenty of Germander Speedwell - our colloqueal name for it is birds' eye.
Love the furry caterpillar too.

Gill said...

I just love that micromoth. The butterflies are super too - I always think the underside camouflage is so beautiful - and such a contrast with the top. I think mine usually use Garlic Mustard in this part of Yorkshire. It is just starting to flower, and I saw my first butterflies in the garden at the week-end, so as usual the timing seems to be spot on..