Archive for September, 2011

Ladybirds and leafhoppers

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on 30 September 2011 by bramblejungle

In June, I listed the 10 native ladybird species I’ve found locally. Here’s another, the Larch ladybird (Aphidecta obliterata):Larch ladybird (Aphidecta obliterata)
Meanwhile, it’s been a good season for leafhoppers – maybe because of the warm weather:
Zygina flammigera, colourful and quite common
Zygina flammigera
Another Zygina sp., possibly Zygina angusta:
Zygina sp.
a newcomer to the UK, Acericerus heydenii
Leafhopper (prob. Acericerus heydenii, f.)
and Zyginella pulchra, a leafhopper that so far has been seen on Sycamore. This one’s on Field Maple:
Zyginella pulchra
And here’s a snail – much maligned, with amazing variety of colour and patterns – can’t see why people don’t like them:Snail

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Spider time

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , , , on 25 September 2011 by bramblejungle

At this time of year the garden is full of spiders, feasting on crane-flies and other seasonal goodies:

Garden spider
This green spider, Nigma walckenaeri, has become common round here in the last few years. It spins a web across a leaf, and waits for lunch to attempt a landing:
Nigma walckenaeri with prey

Meanwhile a rarely-seen leafhopper, Ledra Aurita – the Horned Leafhopper – turned up. It’s very hard to spot in its usual habitat (lichen-covered branches, usually oak).
Ledra aurita (Horned leafhopper)

Summer highlights

Posted in "Butts Piece", insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , on 3 September 2011 by bramblejungle

It’s been a while since I posted anything here – I’ve been away on and off, and haven’t taken a lot of photos, but here are a few things I hadn’t seen here before:

Brown Argus butterfly: I found what I though was a mating pair of Common Blues at Butts Piece:

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)

but I discovered later that they were the closely-related Brown Argus (which I had never seen before). No sign of Brown Argus on the next visit, but a few days later I found one:
Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)

Cinnabar Moth caterpillars
There has been ragwort around here for as long as I can remember. It’s toxic to cattle and horses, especially if it gets into hay used as winter feed, but it is a food plant for many insects including the colourful Cinnabar Moth (which I gather is sometimes used to control ragwort because of its voracious appetite for the plant). Cinnabar Moth caterpillars are unmistakable:

Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) larva

Emerging ladybird
I read somewhere that all ladybirds are yellow when they emerge from their pupae. This one’s probably a Harlequin:

Newly-emerged ladybird

Leafcutter bees
I’ve seen leafcutter bees and their signature cutouts from rose and maple leaves, but this is the closest I’ve got to one:

Leafcutter bee

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