Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tussock et al

Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda

Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae

Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica

Rustic Shoulder-knot Apamea sordens

Nikon Coolpix P4

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mothing with Froglife

A very successful evening with Froglife at Jones' Covert well attended by adults and children who had been treated to some hand-on pond-life and bats. The moths performed well. We ran three lights: a 15W actinic on a vertical sheet set well into the wood; a 125W MV at a clearing near the northern edge; and a 40W actinic on the track at the edge of the wood next to the 'ridge and furrow'. This latter area is thick with Coltsfoot so it wasn't surprising that the last trap attracted the bulk of the gonodactyla as this is it's larval foodplant.

Further Froglife events in the Peteborough area

Combined moth totals (TBC = to be confirmed):
0017 Common Swift (Hepialus lupulinus), 2
0141 Nematopogon schwarziellus, 1
0986 Syndemis musculana, 5
1120 Ancylis mitterbacheriana, 1
1136 Epinotia immundana, 1, TBC
1501 Platyptilia gonodactyla, 8
1646 Oak Hook-tip (Drepana binaria), 1
1682 Blood-vein (Timandra comae), 1
1724 Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia), 1
1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata), 1
1738 Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata), 2
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata), 2
1776 Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria), 9
1867 Treble-bar (Aplocera plagiata), 1
1879 The Seraphim (Lobophora halterata), 1
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata), 6
1957 White-pinion Spotted (Lomographa bimaculata), 2
1958 Clouded Silver (Lomographa temerata), 2
2000 Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius), 1
2014 Marbled Brown (Drymonia dodonaea), 2
2028 Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda), 1
2060 White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda), 1
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta), 1
2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta), 1

Oak Hooktip Drepana binaria

Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda

The Seraphim Lobophora halterata

Treble-bar Aplocera plagiata

Nematopogon schwarziellus

Epinotia immundana (TBC)

Platyptilia gonodactyla

Nikon Coolpix P4

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cemetery Saxifrage

The Broadway Cemetery has featured on this blog before, not least because of the amazing display of wildflowers it often produces. At the moment there are drifts of Meadow Saxifrage looking stunning as well as other flowers.

Meadow Saxifrage Saxifraga granulata

Nikon Coolpix P4

Monday, May 15, 2006

Holly Blue and a green lady

A bit of sun for the first time in a few days and a Holly Blue was quick to take advantage. A short bask on a Ceanothus bush provided a rare opportunity to catch this little butterfly with its wings open.

While browsing the garden for other insects I was surprised to come across this pristine, and by the look of it heavily gravid, female Lime Hawk-moth basking on next door's house wall.

Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus

Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae Female

Nikon Coolpix P4

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Glow-worm Larva

A fairly eventful visit to Old Sulehay but few insects on this cool, cloudy day. Karen found this little gem on the Bridleway through the forest.

Glow-worm Larva Lampyris noctiluca

Nikon Coolpix P4

Friday, May 12, 2006

Beeby's insects

Beeby's brick pit has not always been the best for birding but last year it was drained to leave masses of islands of differing sizes. Black-headed Gulls have moved in to breed and there are probably at least 10 pairs of Common Terns also breeding there. Although not ideal for waders a few are also passing through or perhaps also breeding.

The insects were good in the very warm sunny weather today. Click the pics for supersize shots. What is that damselfly eating?

Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi

Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum


Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) Female

Nikon Coolpix P4

First Hawk of the Year

Another warm day but followed by a clear cool night with a full moon. No surprises at the small catch then: 4 Muslin Moths, a Common Quaker, a White-shouldered House Moth and a Eudonia angustea plus the beasts pictured below.

Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae

Cockchafer (May Bug) Melolontha melolontha

Nikon Coolpix P4

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

20 Minutes at The Boardwalks

Biked down to The Boardwalk NR close to the centre of Peterborough this lunchtime for a quick look. Always impressed by the number and variety of hoverflies at this site. Few sat still long enough for a novice like me to identify but Leucozona lucorum I did recognise and was quite abundant. There was also a fairly abundant small parasitic wasp which was chasing flies around and laying eggs on/in them. A party of young Fox cubs played about near the walkway oblivious to me.

A good emergence of Azure Damselfies and also single male and female Banded Demoiselles. There were plenty of butterflies about and one dayflying moth:
Orange-tip, 5
Small Tortoiseshell, 5
Peacock, 1
Brimstone, 1
Green-veined White, 1
Large White, 1
Speckled Wood, 2
Holly Blue, 2
Common Carpet, 1

Leucozona lucorum

Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella


Green Tortoise Beetle Cassida viridis

Nikon Coolpix P4

Slowly but surely

More moths are starting to appear but its still very slow going. Yesterday was quite warm but under clear skies the temperature fell again and with a bright waxing moon I wouldn't have expected much more than this. One of each of the following:
1651 Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata)
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
2063 Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica)
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta)
2186 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis)
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)

Chinese Character Cilix glaucata

Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata

Muslin Moth Diaphora mendica

Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta

Nikon Coolpix P4

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Orange-tip Butterfly

Orange-tips can be very photogenic. This cracking male was one of at least three at the insect-rich northwest corner of Serpentine brick pit. Don't forget to click for the bigger picture.

Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines

Nikon Coolpix P4

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Green Pug breeding in the garden

I found this little fella (he's about 5-6mm long) among violets in the garden in the middle of the afternoon a few days ago. It had probably fallen from the purple flowering cherry that overhangs that area as they feed on the flowers of fruit trees (malus and prunus). It is a very common moth as an adult at light later in the year (from June) but its nice to prove it breeding in the garden.

Its been accepting violet leaves in captivity and has spun a feeding cocoon between leaves. They should be 12-13mm fully grown so he has a bit of growing to do yet.

Green Pug Chloroclystis rectangulata

Nikon Coolpix 995

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A few more moths

But still not many! I do like the first little micro, which is now flying around the garden in the daytime.

Esperia sulphurella

Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma

Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula

Nikon Coolpix P4

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Immigrant Moths

This was the best night for moths trapped overnight so far but it is still way down on previous years. Most significant was the arrival of 6 Diamond-back Moths. These are long distance migrants, despite being only about 7mm long. I've only recorded two singles in the garden before. There were many others reported scattered across the UK in what must have been an arrival of millions. They are a potentially destructive crop pest so this is not good news for farmers.

Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella

Pebble Prominent Eligmodonta ziczac

Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria

Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula

Nikon Coolpix P4

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Quick Cuckoo's Hollow insect survey

Took a lunchtime run out to Cuckoo's Hollow to record insects. Plenty of common insects showing very nicely. In addition to those pictured here:
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae
Peacock Inachis io
Comma Polygonium c-album
Epistrophe elegans (Hoverfly)
Rhingia campestris (Hoverfly)

Syrphus ribesii/vitripennis

Female *

Eupeodes luniger Female

Helophilus pendulus

Alder Fly Sialis lutaria

Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius

Common Carder Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum

Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina

14-spot Ladybird Propylea quatordecimpunctata

Nikon Coolpix P4 (except *, 995)