Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Woodland fringe

A couple of weeks ago, I showed of the egg of an Orange Tip butterfly. It has now hatched, and this is the (3mm.) caterpillar:

It will stay on this single plant, eating the seedpods as it grows.

Sawflies are out in ever-increasing numbers. Specimens like this Tenthrenid need careful consideration, because they converge on very similar colour patterns to those of Ichneumonids. The main visible distinguishing features are the lack of a narrow 'waist', and the deep sutures on the thorax. This specimen appears to be a male:

This shot of another (female) Sawfly clearly shows the thicker middle area between the thorax and abdomen:

The following shot of the micromoth Epiblema sticticana took me around 15 minutes to capture. I saw the moth flying low over vegetation, threatening to land, but never quite fulfilling the promise to do so. I knew from the flight pattern and colouration that it was new to me, so I followed it up and down the verge for what seemed an age. Eventually it alighted on a Coltsfoot leaf (they can't keep constantly flying for too long) and I rattled off a few shots before it resumed its low flight over the plants.
Epiblema sticticana has only recently been separated from two other members of the Epiblema family, and its larvae feed on......Coltsfoot roots. (The others are Epiblema cirsiana, which feeds on Marsh Thistle, and Epiblema scutulana, which feeds on Spear Thistle).

I had hoped to see some interesting hoverflies along this stretch of woodland fringe, but this spider was helping to make sure I didn't see too many:

Beech Woolly Aphids - Phyllapis fagi - are confined to Beech trees, and are the sole food source of some hoverfly larvae:

No comments: