Archive for June, 2012
The Scarlet Tiger moths have emerged at Butts Piece, despite the frost and heavy rain since I saw the caterpillars in April.
There were only 4 there this morning, but I’ll keep watching to see if numbers reach their usual levels.
This year’s emergence seemed a bit late – but that could just be because they were early last year: here are the dates I’ve seen caterpillars and adults in previous years
|2010||11 April||17-26 June|
|2011||26 March||11-18 June|
|2012||1-8 April||23 June|
(not very scientific – I usually check at weekends, so a few days either way… )
Postscript – 24 June
The sun shone (briefly), and a dozen or so were on the wing.
Yet. The comfrey is flowering and buzzing with bees, but the scarlet tiger moths haven’t shown up. Either the caterpillars were all washed away in the wet weather, or (I hope) they are just a bit late because it’s been unusually cold. I’ll keep watching.
Apart from butterflies and moths, life seems to be going on as usual, with thick-legged flower beetles on the wild roses at Butts Piece Lacewings on the brambles and a few hoverflies Another nursery-web spider was hunting on the burdock and I took a snap that I hoped would be a swift in flight. It’s not – it could be a Peregrine Falcon (I’m told that Peregrines sometimes nest on the tower at Didcot power station), or perhaps a Hobby. Please let me know if you can tell what it is. [It’s a Hobby – thanks, Ian Lewington for identifying it]
While I’m anxiously waiting to see whether the long wet spell has had an impact on the scarlet tiger moths (they started emerging around 11 June last year), there’s been plenty to see at a smaller scale:
Bordered Shieldbugs (Legnotus limbosus)
I’ve seen nymphs before but never adults; their preferred food is plants of the Galium family, which includes goosegrass (cleavers) seen here. With the Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas bicolor) which lives on deadnettle, that makes 8 shieldbug species just in this garden.
Also new to me are the Hairy Spider Weevil (Barypeithes pellucidus) and the Ivy Deathwatch Beetle (Ochina ptinoides) Not everything is herbivorous: here are a couple of carnivores:
Friends on Flickr tell me this one is probably a Dance Fly eating a leafhopper; just as fascinating as the behaviour of sparrowhawks, but smaller (well, I think so!)