Sunday, 18 July 2010

Just fresh

As I was moving between Angelica plants, this large Ichneumon landed on the Scaly Male fern:

Notice I said 'Ichneumon' for a change. That's because this is one of the very few that can be named from appearance alone. It's a fine specimen of Amblyteles armatorius, and I'm pretty sure it had just emerged, because it sat for a while and gave itself a very thorough clean-up. A few years ago I photographed the entire emergence procedure of another Ichneumon, Amblyjoppa proteus, and you can see it here. As you can see, the freshly-emerged Ichneumon is covered in slime and mucus, and it needs to clean itself very thoroughly. That's what I think we're seeing in this series of close-ups:

Each of the antennae was cleaned several times by dragging it through the front legs:
Then the front legs got cleaned:
Before the eyes were given a couple of wipes.
The whole procedure was repeated about three times.

This shot clearly shows the triangle of upward-facing 'ocelli', which help to detect predators:

1 comment:

Gill said...

Fantastic sequence (and beastie).