Archive for June, 2009

Hunting beetles…

Posted in garden, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , on 26 June 2009 by bramblejungle

…and slugs. Every garden should have one: this looks like a youngster,  so I hope there are more around.
Slug patrol

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Moths

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , on 22 June 2009 by bramblejungle

Late in the evening the air seems full of moths, especially round the nettles. Most of them are tiny “micro-moths” that you’d need to be a specialist to identify (and some of them are probably leaf miners and other pests, but since they or their larvae are also bird-food I’ll let that pass); here are some of the more interesting/colourful ones that I’ve seen in the last week or two:

Large yellow underwing (Noctua pronuba)
Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)
Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)
Light Arches (Apamea lithoxylaea)
Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)
Udea olivalis
Mint moth (Pyrausta aurata)
Small magpie moth ( Eurrhypara hortulata)

Aphid control

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , on 14 June 2009 by bramblejungle

This has been a great year for aphids, round here at least. In the nesting season that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as any small insect is potentially a useful source of protein for chicks, but sometimes the birds need some help. The larvae of the green lacewing  apparently have such an appetite for aphids that you can buy them from garden suppliers (I didn’t – this is a wild lacewing!)
Green lacewing
Meanwhile, there are other aphid predators, notably ladybirds (ladybugs) both as adults and as larvae: here’s an indigenous 7-spot:
Ladybird
Trouble is, they are in danger of being replaced by the grey squirrel of ladybirds, the Harlequin:
Harlequin
a.k.a. Multicoloured Asian Ladybird (more info at Harlequin Ladybird Survey), so if you see the larvae of these, I recommend you squish them (maybe take a photo first!) – here’s what they look like:
The wrong sort of larva

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