Saturday 21 June 2014

Interesting insects


During a light shower of rain a few days ago I found this cinnabar moth sheltering on a ragwort stem.

Ragwort is the food plant for its caterpillars so the moth may have been laying eggs. I will keep an eye on the plant to see if the caterpillars arrive.

This female stag beetle may have been about to lay eggs too. She was just near to a rotting tree stump which would be just the place for her to deposit a clutch.

A new beetle for me! The violet ground beetle or rain beetle, carabus violaceus.

Both adult and larva feed on slugs and vine weevils so they are very welcome to stay in my garden.

Friday 20 June 2014

Wildlife in June

There was a surprise for me when I looked in the pond this week.

A newt was sitting on the pond weeds and was in no hurry to go anywhere.

After a few photos I managed to identify it as a palmate newt by the orange stripe which extended along its back.

Then I came across an unusual looking longhorn beetle sitting on a calla lily flower.

It is a spotted longhorn beetle, rutpela maculata. The adults feed on pollen. There was plenty of that on the lily.

And my third surprise was this spectacular moth larva which was feeding on one of my garden mulleins. 

That's a good clue - it's the caterpillar of the mullein moth, most commonly found on the wild mullein plant.

Where do I Walk?

Mainly around the National Trust land at Washington Common and Warren Hill in West Sussex. I also spend some time around my old Steyning walks and other interesting places in West Sussex.