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

ditto

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

Thanks to Barry Warrington for the ID

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Toadflax


2 comments:

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:
http://www.pbase.com/02purser/from_egg_to_adult
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!