As we all know the esteemed Ms. M sat on a
tuffet tussock. If she had sat on this Tussock she may have had a bigger surprise than a teddy bears’ picnic. Lying in wait this moth looks like something out a Hammer film. Revenge of the Killer Tussock. In fact, Calliteara pudibunda is quite a harmless creature. It was one of 12 species visiting the Lodge moth trap overnight.Here is another welcome visitor, known in the trade as Cerula vinala but to its friends it is Puss Moth.
The garden is very productive for lepidoptera. I am up to 53 moth species in three weeks. Absolute numbers remain low but diversity is excellent.
My favourite today was Alder Moth, Acronicta alniLest you think I only favour the leps I can share a rather poor shot of what you will immediately recognise as a Ladybird beetle. This one is about 4mm long and without a macro lens I had to crop far too much. This is a 14-spot Ladybird, Propylea quattuordecimpunctata. This is one of those species where the length of the name is inversely proportional to the size of the insect. It is also yellow and black.
It took me an hour to get this one to pause long enough for me to photograph it. I had found it amongst the nettles, tubed it and brought it in to have its picture taken. It was like a hamster on a wheel, running crazily up and down, round and round. It would flip over on to its back and wriggle wildly until it righted itself. Strange to watch. Beetles were not my favourites this morning as the trap was overrun by cockchafers. Probably they had eaten a few rarities but I can’t sit up all night swatting may bugs. So all in all I am happy with the surveying.
PS. Now the election is over and that awfully
smug nice Mr. Cameron is back in number 10 we can all hope that moths will have a better future under the Conservative party.