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Insects (assorted) Page 4

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 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


Image Taken on 04 Apr 2009 at 13:41    Image of day on 25 Apr 2009

Took us a while to identify this as a 'bee-fly' - then discovered we first identified one last year on 15 April 2008, so this sighting is over a week earlier. It is hovering in front of the blackthorn flower - you can see the wings as smudges left and right of the insect. Here is the 15 Apr 2008 Bee-fly on Leaf litter (click to view).


Ref: 20090425_db1_20090404_1341_101 common bee-fly (bombylius major) hovering in front of blackthorn flower (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image of day on 01 Oct 2005

This grasshopper stayed still long enough to photograph it on the edge of a plant container.


Ref: 20051001_p20_1030852 common field (q) grasshopper 2005sep24_13-53-22(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 06 Aug 2009 at 13:38    Image of day on 13 Sep 2009

Bush crickets have enormously long antennae - it really reaches just past the right edge of this picture!


Ref: 20090913_da1_20090806_1338_234_ft1 conehead bush-cricket (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 05 Jul 2017 at 11:12    Image of day on 24 Aug 2017

Convolvulus flowers brighten up the ground at this time of year.
In about 1992 we had dug out 'Round Pond' but not yet lined or filled it, and it erupted with a carpet of thousands of these flowers right down to the bottom about 2 metres deep. We conclude that the soil must be 'saturated' with long-lived seeds awaiting their chance.


Ref: 20170824_df3_20170705_1112_165 convolvulus flower with hover-fly (crop 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 10 May 2017 at 12:58    Image of day on 02 Jul 2017

This Cranefly would have been very difficult to spot if we had not seen it land. The real surprise came later at the PC when we saw the bright blue eyes which we show in a 3 times scale insert. You might think it would be easy to ID but we have failed, all our books only showing the most common species and the WWW not actually naming the species.


Ref: 20170702_df3_20170510_1258_195 crane-fly (unident) with bright blue eyes on lodgepole pine (crop with enlarged eyes insert)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image of day on 23 Sep 2005

From after dark until dawn craneflies (also known as 'daddy longlegs' in the UK) were apparently feeding on juices from fruit peelings left on the rock from the evening offerings. There are 2 here - one just to the right on the rock centre casting its shadow, and another to the back and right of that. This is the season for these harmless insects - at times there are clouds of them during the day.


Ref: 20050923_d3c_25162 fb2 craneflies 2005sep20_04-54-12(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 24 Sep 2013 at 15:09    Image of day on 25 Nov 2013

We have been inundated with Craneflies for the last few weeks. We saw this coupled pair land and we grabbed some photos.


Ref: 20131125_df1_20130924_1509_023 pair of craneflies mating (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 21 Sep 2010 at 13:05    Image of day on 14 Nov 2010

Craneflies all over the place, but perhaps not the invasion of some years. Here a pair doing what comes naturally down in the grass.


Ref: 20101114_df1_20100921_1305_064 craneflies mating on grass (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


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