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Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Insects (assorted) Page 5

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 30 May 2023 at 16:53    Image of day on 26 Jul 2023

The female Chaffinch has an unfortunate Crane-fly in her beak.
We have thousands of crane-flies - almost anywhere you look you can find one.

Ref: 20230726_e6c_20230530_1653_054_fb4 chaffinch female with cranefly in beak(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 04 Apr 2020 at 15:06    Image of day on 19 Apr 2020

A Bee feeding on one of thousands of Cherry Blossoms florets.

Ref: 20200419_df3_20200404_1506_180 cherry blossom with bee(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 27 Aug 2020 at 10:18    Image of day on 06 Oct 2020

A couple of Cinnabar Caterpillars on a Ragwort plant they have completely stripped of foliage.

Ref: 20201006_d73_20200827_1018_006 cinnabar caterpillars on leaf-stripped ragwort(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 12 Jul 2020 at 10:51    Image of day on 22 Aug 2020

While lots of insects use Ragwort nectar as fuel, the Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar normally specialises in eating the poisonous Ragwort leaves that other insects can't eat. Apparently they store the poisons in their bodies to protect both the Caterpillar and the adult moth from predators. So not a Moth - YET.

Ref: 20200822_d73_20200712_1051_028 cinnabar moth caterpillar on ragwort(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 17 Jul 2020 at 17:41    Image of day on 22 Aug 2020

Little and Large - Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar style.

Ref: 20200822_d73_20200717_1741_003 cinnabar moth caterpillars (large and tiny) on unopened ragwort flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Jul 2021 at 14:37    Image of day on 24 Aug 2021

The Ragwort has burst into life at several location, and the Cinnabar Moths have been busy laying the eggs to make a good 'crop' of their caterpillars.

Ref: 20210824_d73_20210707_1437_529 cinnabar moth caterpillars (various sizes) on ragwort flower buds(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Jul 2021 at 15:50    Image of day on 24 Aug 2021

The Cinnabar moth Caterpillars are taking over the Oxford Ragwort!
Wikipedia tell us that:-
    Cinnabar moth from Europe was released as a biological control agent
    against common ragwort in the USA (1991), Australia (2000) and New Zealand (1990)
but apparently with limited success.
Artificial introductions vary from utter failure to complete disasters (like the Australian Cane Toad introduced in 1935 and now a 'plague').

Ref: 20210824_d73_20210708_1550_048 cinnabar moths caterpillars on oxford ragwort(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 12 Apr 2020 at 12:25    Image of day on 02 May 2020

We believe that this is a 'Cinnamon Bug' with a Vivid orange and Black colouration.

Ref: 20200502_df3_20200412_1225_077 cinnamon bug aka black and red squash bug (corizus hyoscyami) (crop)(r+mb id@768).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




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