Thursday, 30 June 2011

Spinach or Straw

I was hoping that this ungainly creature was a Spinach moth - not that they're rare or anything but it's such an intriguing name for an insect which has no obvious connection with Popeye and whose caterpillars feed exclusively on red and blackcurrant. They are at least green, with white lines, so perhaps that's the explanation. I shall browse on Google.

However, this isn't a Spinach but a Barred Straw, the only British moth to rest with its wings stretched out at what looks like an uncomfortable angle. It's common too but I haven't recorded it here before, so that's another one for my next list revision, along with the Short Cloaked, that oddity the other day which I compared to Moses on Pisgah.

Yesterday's intriguing beast turns out, as per kind and much-appreciated Comments on the post, to be a Ruby-tailed Wasp. It is a lot less nice than its name suggests, cuckooing its larvae into the nests of other solitary wasps and bees, where they eat their hosts. I never feel happy when the term 'un-natural' is applied to various undesirable or unpopular forms of human behaviour. Nature is awash with undesirable goings-on.

But here's a sweet little Single-dotted Wave to end on a positive note. Its behaviour is as demure as its appearance suggests.


worm said...

the s.d wave is beautiful isn't it, I love the way it's top half creates a perfect line from wing tip to wing tip

MartinWainwright said...

Yes, it's really pretty. And so small. I like all the waves - very graceful and dainty, aren't they, and now is their top time, or so it seems. Warm wishes, M