Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The worst day of the year

I truly hate the 22nd of June, because it means that we've turned the corner and the days will now get shorter for the next 6 months.


Moving swiftly on, leaves with holes always attract my attention, and this Alder leaf got me very excited:

Notice a few things: the leaf has been grazed on one surface (the upper) only and there is a tiny hole in each grazing patch. That combination of features suggests only one type of beast: a Coleophora micromoth.

These assemble a case out of the little leaf patches, and they continue to graze with the protective case surrounding them:

There are only a few Coleophora species that mine Alder, and I quickly came down to Coleophora serratella, which feeds on a few broad-leaved trees.

New to me.

The good warm weather keeps the moths coming at night. Last night I was taking a few shots and I felt the buffeting wind from the wings of this Poplar Hawkmoth before I saw it. Last year I showed the progress of one of these as it developed as a caterpillar, and I'm delighted to find this pristine specimen. A lovely beast:

The Mottled Beauty - Alcis repandata repandata - feeds on a wide variety of broadleaf trees:

My favourite little moth - Clouded Border - is a milestone for my camera: this is the 60,000th shot:

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