Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Dotted Border pupates

A caterpillar that I found feeding on oak in Hawksworth Wood on the 14th May has now pupated.
The distinctive colouration of the pupa has now enabled me to identify the caterpillar as that of the Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria).
Now the challenge is to try and keep it in the hope of the adult being the flightless female which I have never seen.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Grinning Egg

I thought that I had found some moth eggs on the undersurface of an elm leaf this morning but then realised that I had been caught out like this before!

Remember the story of the Ova with smiley faces?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Ichneumon pupa ex Dun-bar larva

I have been rearing a caterpillar of the Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina) found on Beech at Hawksworth wood on 14th May 2011.

Yesterday, I looked inside its container to find that the caterpillar's innards are now contained within the pupa of an ichneumon wasp. Mark Shaw has since identified this for me as Scirtetes robustus.

It will be fascinating to see what the resultant parasitoid imago looks like.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Oxford Bee Company and Orange Tips

Very blustery weather has predominated over the last couple of days but the continuing bright sunshine is appreciated by most of us.

There is a profusion of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) growing by the roadsides and many of these stems are now dotted with the bright orange eggs of the Orange Tip butterfly.

Red Mason Bees (Osmia rufa) are busy cementing up the cardboard tubes of my Oxford Bee Company nesting box.