Some Bugs and Beasties

Sunday, June 4th 2023

The title of the blog is probably unfair as these creatures are spectacular although I do appreciate that they may not be to everyone's taste.  Andrew caught this Red and Black or Black and Red Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata).  He was lucky to photograph it as they do not like having their photo taken and can just fall off their perch!

The moth trap results have been variable over the last few weeks but what we have lacked in quantity we have gained in quality.  The first Elephant Hawkmoth was caught.  The adults are nocturnal, flying from dusk and come to light.  During the day they rest amongst its foodplants. They feed from honeysuckle and other tubular flowers on the wing. Not all adult moths feed. The caterpillars feed on Rosebay Willowherb, of which we do not have much on the reserve.

We have had several Scalloped Hazel moths in the trap.  They are lovely moths, but don't always co-operate when it is photo time, so I was pleased with this one even though I did have to hold the leaf.  The catrpillar is a looper meaning that when it walks it actually loops, head end forward then the back end next to it making a loop.  The larvae feed on a variety of deciduous and conifer trees, although its name suggests it should feed mainly on Hazel.

As I said it is not the best of moths to photograph although it sitting with its wings up did give me the opportunity to see the undersides which are just as spectacular as the top view.

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