Foxglove’s Marvellous Insects!

Saturday, July 14th 2018

This week the moth trap has been put out in the same place on three evenings and a different catch has been recorded each time.  There were some moths that were present every time, Small Dotted Buff and Clouded Border giving the most numbers.  Three Poplar Hawkmoths were in the trap this morning, only one on the previous nights.

Green Arches appeared twice.  When newly hatched they are really green.

Green Arches

Coxcomb Prominent lives up to its name, but appeared only once.

Coxcomb Prominent

Whilst Beautiful Golden Y does have a gold mark on its wings, but what astonished me was the length of its legs.

Beautiful Golden Y showing off its long legs

From moths to butterflies.  Last year was a very poor year for Small Tortoiseshell butterflies but so far this year there have been several sightings.

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

There was a hatch of Common Darters this sweek and several were photographed at different stages.  The photographs are not very good as there was a lot of vegetation between me and the darters, but they do illustrate the change from an aquatic larva to an adult.  When they emerge from their case the wings are tiny.

Common Darter just emerged

They then have to spend time enlarging their wings.

Common Darter

The wings have been fully stretched and you can now easily see the excuviae, the last larval exoskeleton.

Wings outstreched - Common Darter

And to complete the series of photos a Common Darter was hanging onto the rushes as the wind blew through them.  His wings, which should have been at right angles on each side of its body, were almost all on one side!

Common Darter


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