Saturday, 28 September 2013

More from Banagher Glen

When I'm looking at leaves for rusts and other fungi I often come across caterpillars of moths, especially at this time of year when larvae are fully-grown and are looking for somewhere to pupate and overwinter.

This larva of the Coxcomb Prominent moth adopted a defensive posture by throwing its head backwards, using its legs to make it look spiky.

Larva of the Coxcomb Prominent moth
Just as I was writing this, I spotted that this photograph shows an important feature to aid identifications. The larva has a number of ocelli - simple eyes - arranged in a curve. If there is any doubt about whether you are looking at a caterpillar or a sawfly larva, then this is an important distinction: the larvae of sawflies have only a single ocellus.

Ocelli of Coxcomb moth larva
Here's an old image of a sawfly larva, showing the single ocellus:

Sawfly larva showing single ocellus
(That image shows how things have moved on in eight years; I used to think my photos were good in those days!)

We found another larva on Birch:

Larva of  Light Emerald moth
Seems to be the Light Emerald moth, which overwinter as larvae.

New to my Species Index.

Leaf mines are also maturing at this time of year. This is the fly Phytomyza tussilaginis:
Mines of Phytomyza tussilaginis on Coltsfoot
New to my Species Index.

And another new species for me: 

Mines of the micromoth Phyllonorycter nicellii on Hazel
New to my Species Index.

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting and informative as ever Stuart. Thanks for the recipes.