Archive for August, 2009

Shield bugs

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , , on 27 August 2009 by bramblejungle

I like shield bugs, and I’m pretty sure most of them are harmless (though I haven’t tried picking any of them up, just in case!). Recently there seem to be lots of Forest Bugs around, but over the last few weeks the local patch has produced several others:

Forest Bug
Forest bug (Pentatoma rufipes)
Some more Forest Bugs (lots more, soon)
Forest bugs
A Parent Bug – which apparently gets its name from the fact that the nymphs stay with the adult for a few weeks after hatching
Parent Bug (Elasmucha grisea)
A nymph of the common Green Shield Bug
Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)
and a procession of what I think are Hawthorn Shield Bug nymphs
Bugs on a leaf

The Moth Collection

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , on 23 August 2009 by bramblejungle

According to UK Moths, there are at least 2400 moth species in the UK; I guess I’ve only scratched the surface, but with a lot of help from friends on Flickr I’ve found and identified 80 of them around here – all “wild”, without using moth traps etc. Click the thumbnails for a bigger picture and more info:

20-plume moth (Alucita hexadactyla)Agonopterix sp.?Alucita hexadactylaAngle shades moth (Phlogophora meticulosa)Argyresthia goedartella
Argyresthia goedartellaArgyresthia laevigatella (probably)Bee moth (Aphomia sociella)Bee moth (Aphomia sociella)Bee moth (Aphomia sociella), f.
Blastobasis lacticolellaBlue-eyed grass mothBright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea)Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea)Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)Brown house mothBrown moth - possibly another wormwood pugBrown-dotted Clothes Moth (Niditinea fuscella)
Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum) caterpillarBuff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum) caterpillarCarcina quercanaCaterpillar (again) - white ermine moth
Celypha strianaClothes moth?Common Emerald (Hemithea aestivaria)Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata)Common Marbled Carpet moth (Chloroclysta truncata)
Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata)Common pug (Eupithecia vulgata)Dagger mothDingy Footman moth (Eilema griseola)Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)
Double-striped pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)Endotricha flammealis
Ermine mothEudonia angustea (probably)Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea)Frosted orange moth (Gortyna flavago)Furry moth
Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli), f.
Grass mothGrass moth (Chrysoteuchia culmella)Green carpet moth (Colostygia pectinatatia)Green carpet moth (Colostygia pectinatatia)Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)
Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)Hiding in the HydrangeaHorse chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella)Knot Grass (Acronicta rumicis)Large yellow underwing (Noctua pronuba)
Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing (Noctua janthe)Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes)Light Arches (Apamea lithoxylaea)Light Arches (Apamea lithoxylaea)
Light Arches (Apamea lithoxylaea)Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana)Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana)Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Lilac beauty (Apeira syringaria)Macro practice 1Marbled minor (Oligia strigilis)Micro mothMicro moth
Mint moth (Pyrausta aurata)Mint moth (Pyrausta aurata)Monopis weaverellaMothMoth
MothMothMothMothMoth (Agonopterix sp.)
Moth (Agonopterix sp.)Moth (Epiblema cf. cirsiana)Moth (probably Common Pug)Moth 1Moth 2
Moth 3Moth headMother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)Mother of pearl moth (Pleuroptya ruralis)Mother-of-pearl moth
MothsMottled Pug (Eupithecia exiguata)Nettle tap moth (Anthophila fabriciana)Nettle-tap moth (Anthophila fabriciana)Nettle-tap moth (Anthophila fabriciana)
Orange Swift (Hepialus sylvina)Orange swift moth (Triodia sylvina)Orange swift moth (Triodia sylvina)Oval mothOval moth close-up
Plume mothPlume mothPlume mothPlume mothPlume moth
Pyralid  moth (Endotricha flammealis) on ivyRiband Wave (Idaea aversata)Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)Scalloped hazel (Odontopera bidentata)Silver Y (Autographa gamma)
Silver Y (Autographa gamma)Silver Y (Autographa gamma)Silver y moth (Autographa gamma)Single-dotted wave moth (Idaea dimidiata)Small blood-vein (Scopula imitaria)
Small blood-vein (Scopula imitaria)Small blood-vein moth (Scopula imitaria)Small dusty wave (Idaea seriata)Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata)Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata)
Small magpie mothSmall magpie moth ( Eurrhypara hortulata)Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)
Spectacle (Abrostola triplasia)Spectacle (Abrostola triplasia)Spectacle moth (Abrostola tripartita)Square-spot rustic moth (Xestia xanthographa)Square-spot rustic moth (Xestia xanthographa)
Square-spot rustic moth (Xestia xanthographa)Straw Dot  (Rivula sericealis)Streamer (Anticlea derivata)Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)Swallowtail moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria) (1)
Swallowtail moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria) (2)The Gothic (Naenia typica)TortrixTortrix moth (Celypha lacunana)Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla)
Udea olivalisUdea olivalisUdea prunalisVapourer moth (Orgyia antiqua) caterpillarVapourer moth caterpillar
White plume moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)White plume moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)White-shouldered house mothWillow beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria )Willow beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria )
Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria)Woolly caterpillarWormwood pug (Eupithecia absinthiata)Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)
Yellow Shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata)Yellow underwingYellow underwing

More butterflies

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , on 12 August 2009 by bramblejungle

A few weeks ago I commented that we didn’t seem to have as many butterflies as usual. Perhaps I was unduly pessimistic – things seem to have picked up, with large numbers of Peacocks, a few Red Admirals, the odd Comma (but never when I’ve got the camera!) and – a special delight as I haven’t seen them here for several years – quite a few Small Tortoiseshells:

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Butterflies in flight
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegaria)

The Wildflower Meadow

Posted in garden, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , on 7 August 2009 by bramblejungle

What could be better than not mowing the lawn? The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust have some advice on turning a grassy area into a wildflower meadow, starting with “Let it grow during the summer to see what turns up”, so I stopped mowing at the end of May and waited to see what happened. The results were not too encouraging: several ant-hills, a lot of white clover (great for bumble-bees), daisies, buttercups, numerous tall yellow-flowered weeds (with hundreds of hover-flies), quite a lot of Self-heal. There were a couple of surprises – Ragwort (I hoped that this would bring Cinnabar moths, but so far it’s only produced tiny Ragwort flea beetles), and Sea Holly (full of pollen beetles) – presumably a garden escape. Still, at least I don’t have to mow it again until September.
The hedges are doing better, with White Bryony and Woody Nightshade making an appearance,
White Bryony (Bryonia dioica)
Woody Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
along with Dwarf Mallow on the path
Dwarf Mallow (Malva neglecta)

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