Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Special Insects

On Saturday this Lime Hawk-Moth diced with death, as it crawled along the run-up to our property narrowly escaping being squashed by a car. It wriggled and squirmed alarmingly & felt very strange to the touch as I picked it up & placed it in a nearby Lime Tree.

This morning was the 1st of our 3 consecutive visits to a threatened urban brownfield site. This was a new area to every participant & they were suitably impressed by the wide array of flora on display, in what seemed at first-glance such an unpromising-appearing site. There were also a wide variety of butterflies flitting between the plants including: Gatekeepers, Small Skippers, a Common Blue, a Comma, Red Admirals & at least 2 species of White Butterflies.

We were very lucky to encounter Barry Warrington on the site, who patiently & kindly pointed out several Speckled Bush Crickets, which were completely new to every visitor today. We walked the full length of the site & saw a family of 3 Reed Warblers. Other birds seen included: Linnets, Goldfinches, a probably juvenile Reed Bunting and several Whitethroats.

Lime Hawk-Moth Caterpillar Replaced in a Lime Tree

Speckled Bush Cricket - female (c) 2011 Barry Warrington

Note: almost fully-developed ovipositer
Speckled Bush Cricket


Lesser Marsh Grasshopper - another insect that should be further south!

Thanks to Barry Warrington for the ID

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar



Blackbird said...

The Lime caterpillar is about to pupate, so it leaves the tree - apparently sometimes they drop from trees - and digs under leaf litter. This page illustrates the life cycle beautifully:
I also saw some lesser marsh Grasshoppers in Pearson Park wildlife garden. How on earth dis they get there?

Michael Flowers said...

I did wonder. Hopefully, it would try again when there wasn't any traffic about! Thanks for the link. Sorry, can't help with the Grasshopper!