Friday, 23 June 2017

pirri pirri burr - Acaena novae-zelandiae

Concerned to note that there are quite a lot of patches of pirri pirri burr (Acaena novae-zelandiae) alongside Cooper’s Hill SSSI in the region of TL0273 3752 (south of the rugby pitches, west of the SSSI). New plants are establishing. This is a highly invasive species...




Carcina quercana

I knew that I recognized this as soon as it fell into my beating tray at Cooper's Hill, though I didn't know why. It was only when I reached for Sterling, Parsons and Lewington's Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland that I realized that it was on the cover!

White earwig

It's quite common to have earwigs drop into my beating tray but I've never had a white one before! I believe that it was because it had just undergone ecdysis and hadn't coloured-up yet. (At Cooper's Hill today).

Shieldbug #11 - Red-legged

Nearly every tree that I beat at Cooper's Hill today had Red-legged Shieldbugs tumbling out of them into my tray.


Some had redder legs than others:


The were mostly adults but there were a few final instar too:

Monday, 19 June 2017

There are Tigers in my garden!

I spotted a Scarlet Tiger flying in my garden this afternoon which eluded the camera (and me) for a while, but I eventually found it skulking under the buddleia.



Half an hour later I found another. (The spots are slightly different if you look closely).


They don't like flash though, unlike most insects that don't seem to notice it, so make your first attempt at a photo a good one as you may not get a second!

I wonder why they like my garden as I don't have any larval foodplant (e.g comfrey or green alkanet). Maybe it's just because its a bit of a wild oasis in an urban desert.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Marbled White poser

This Marbled White had already roosted before I found it, so it was posing on the Bedfordshire flower for its own gratification! (At Mowsbury Hill LNR this evening).

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Comma Caterpillars

Several Comma caterpillars were nearing maturity on Elm suckers near to Roxton Lock today:


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ladybird #15 - 24-spot

I was at Totternhoe today helping with the man orchid monitoring and just before the end Wilf Powell did some sweeping of low vegetation. He found this 24-spot ladybird, the only ladybird that I'd seen all day, and fortunately one of my "missing" species. The elytra are covered with fine hairs.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Shieldbug #10 - Forget-me-not

Yes, I know it's out of focus! I was carrying my Nikon P7800 today for some stupid reason and it isn't great at macro - the background is sharp though! Anyway, it is of the Forget-me-not Shieldbug and was at Rookery Pit. (There are similar shield bug species with lighter bits around the edge put this one was pure black, hence Forget-me-not).


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Shieldbug #9 - Bishop's Mitre

This was intended only as a "banker" shot, and glad that I took it, as it flew off immediately afterwards. Swept at Sandy Smith NR, the Bishop's Mitre shieldbug

Ladybird #14 - Kidney Spot

I only saw two ladybirds all day today, one harlequin and this Kidney Spot Ladybird, fortunately one of my "missing" species. This was crawling on the trunk of an Ash tree at Sandy Smith NR. This species is most frequently seen crawling on trunks and branches where it is looking for scale insects to eat.


Chrysolina fastuosa?

I'm hoping/presuming that this is the bum of Chrysolina fastuosa which feeds on white dead nettle and is what it was on at Sandy Smith NR. I clumsily knocked it off when trying for a better picture and lost it in the undergrowth!