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Insects (assorted) Page 4

Image of day on 28 Jul 2005

These orange beetles are common at this time of year and are usually seen in pairs like this.

Ref: 20050728_d60_03590 cardinal beetles mating on blackberry flower 2005jul09_17-38-34 (cropped)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 28 Jul 2018 at 11:07    Image of day on 17 Sep 2018

This plant is 'Cat's-ear' flowering in the crop margin. Only when we looked at the pic on the screen did we spot the 7-spot Ladybird left and down from the centre. The bright yellow splashes of colour against the dark is how it really looks.

Ref: 20180917_d72_20180728_1107_016 cats-ear (hypochaeris radicata or hypocho) flowers + 7-spot ladybird in crop margin track end (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Jul 2016 at 12:53    Image of day on 08 Sep 2016

Paraphrasing the guide book .. 'eats Ragwort leaves and flowers' is illustrated by this caterpillar inside the decimated flower head

Ref: 20160908_df3_20160724_1253_169 cinnabar caterpillar eating oxford ragwort flower(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Aug 2016 at 15:27    Image of day on 25 Sep 2016

A Cinnabar Caterpillar building it's body ready to make a lovely big Pupa and emerging as a startling black and red adult Moth.

Ref: 20160925_df3_20160805_1527_067 cinnabar caterpillar feeding on oxford ragwort(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Aug 2019 at 07:41    Image of day on 18 Sep 2019

Ref: 20190918_d73_20190801_0741_009 cinnabar caterpillar on groundsel(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Jul 2017 at 10:27    Image of day on 22 Aug 2017

This Cinnabar moth Caterpillar is feeding on it's favourite food plant the poisonous Ragwort.

Ref: 20170822_df3_20170702_1027_120 cinnabar caterpillar on ragwort flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Aug 2019 at 07:40    Image of day on 18 Sep 2019

We didn't realise that Cinnabar Caterpillars could eat ANYTHING but Oxford Ragwort - ID books mention no other food plant - so were surprised to find a few of these striking insects on patches of Groundsel. The mostly decimated plants, with mostly only one caterpillar per plant, shows that Groundsel is a useable but barely adequate plant food for this insect.
This information/advocacy from web site from which we quote:-
The Cinnabar Moth can use many members of the genus Senecio as foodplants but for long term success larger plants that persist for a long time are necessary. Some uninformed people who campaign against ragwort say that groundsel is sufficient as a foodplant. This is not true. While the caterpillars can and do use groundsel the plants are small and unlikely to support large batches of eggs also groundsel is a more ephemeral plant that does not normally persist on sites.

Ref: 20190918_d73_20190801_0740_003 cinnabar caterpillar one of a few each on single groundsel plant (orig)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 21 Jul 2016 at 13:59    Image of day on 08 Sep 2016

Instead of the normal one or two clumps this year we have a at least 30 single Oxford Ragwort plants spread through the rank grass. This poisonous plant is the food plant of Cinnabar caterpillars which retain the poison to become poisonous themselves. As usual we will attempt to stop these plants making too much seed - Ragwort is very poisonous to cattle who graze near a boarder.

Ref: 20160908_df3_20160721_1359_015 cinnabar caterpillars feeding on oxford ragwort (crop 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jul 2017 at 14:26    Image of day on 22 Aug 2017

Now we have no livestock in the fields around us, we let (the poisonous) Ragwort flowers grow (but still destroy most of the tops before the seeds form). This has hugely benefited the Cinnabar moths of which these are the Caterpillars.

Ref: 20170822_df3_20170701_1426_074 cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort flowers(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Aug 2013 at 15:48    Image of day on 25 Sep 2013

An unusual excess of Ragwort in our meadow brought with it an unprecedented number of Cinnabar caterpillars. Ragwort is poisonous to some mammals, but it is the only food plant of these caterpillars.

Ref: 20130925_p10_20130805_1548_889 cinnabar moth caterpillar on ragwort (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Aug 2013 at 15:49    Image of day on 25 Sep 2013

An unusual excess of Ragwort in our meadow brought with it an unprecedented number of Cinnabar caterpillars. Ragwort is poisonous to some mammals, but it is the only food plant of these caterpillars.

Ref: 20130925_p10_20130805_1549_897 cinnabar moth caterpillar on ragwort (crop 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Aug 2011 at 14:38    Image of day on 30 Sep 2011

This Cinabar this caterpillar was waving itself about. A knowledgable visitor tells us they tend to do this when they are hosting the larva of a parasitic fly.

Ref: 20110930_db1_20110814_1438_044 cinnabar moth caterpillar on ragwort leaf waving head end about (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 29 May 2009 at 15:27    Image of day on 30 Jun 2009

And here a view of it in flight providing a view from below. It was not a very cooperative flyer & this was the only one worth showing.

Ref: 20090630_d01_20090529_1527_241+1556_267 ft1 cockchafer (may bug) male in flight bottom view with oak leaves (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 29 May 2009 at 16:33    Image of day on 30 Jun 2009

Caught in the Moth trap, but definitely NOT a moth was this Cockchafer, also known as a May Bug (and caught in 29 May!). First a view outdoors before it flew off.

Ref: 20090630_db1_20090529_1633_034 ft1 cockchafer (may bug) male on leaf with antennae folded (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 22 May 2007 at 14:39    Image of day on 05 Jun 2007

Normally we have only occasionally seen Cockchafer beetles whizz by, but this one was playing dead (and wasn't!) in a shed so we took some pictures before putting it somewhere safe. Its BIG - the body is 3cm long.

Ref: 20070605_d10_20070522_1439_077 cockchafer beetle(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 18 May 2014 at 13:39    Image of day on 15 Jul 2014

We found 4 male Cockchafer beetles in the moth trap, but only this one would fly for us. Beetles have 2-wings (the transparent lobe lower left and right) with the other pair of wings evolved into the protective wing case upper left and right.

Ref: 20140715_da1_20140518_1339_190+1346_204_ft1 cockchafer beetle in flight with hawthorn leaves (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 18 May 2014 at 13:40    Image of day on 15 Jul 2014

We found 4 male Cockchafer beetles in the moth trap, but this is one of those that would not fly for us. We released them all into a bush near the house. According to 'the book' the powdery wing case indicates a recent emergence.

Ref: 20140715_df2_20140518_1340_023 cockchafer beetle male on bush(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 23 May 2012 at 13:44    Image of day on 20 Jun 2012

Here the Cockchafer Beetle is creeping over hawthorn foliage, wings neatly hidden and protected under the cases.

Ref: 20120620_da1_20120523_1344_117_ft1 cockchafer beetle on hawthorn twig (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Jun 2019 at 11:42    Image of day on 17 Jul 2019

This large and heavy insect is a Cockchafer Beetle, also widely known as a May Bug. This one is a male (feathered antennae at the top) lifting the wing cases prior to taking off.

Ref: 20190717_p10_20190602_1142_355 cockchafer male (melolontha melolontha) opening wing cases to fly away (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Apr 2008 at 12:45    Image of day on 01 May 2008

This might be a 'common' bee-fly (one of 12 or 15 species according to which book you look in but neither has any detail) but it is new to us.

Ref: 20080501_da1_20080415_1245_021 common (q) bee-fly (bombylius major (q)) on orchard leaf litter(r+mb id@576).jpg




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