Monday, 13 October 2014

Not for the squeamish

Rain has stopped play for the time being but when I went out this morning to bring in the trap, I saw the sad sight above. It's the culmination of the slug and fly saga which I reported on two posts ago. As I suspected, the slug had somehow ambushed the fly or found it stuck on slime or dazzled by light and had sucked its innards dry.

Yuch!  And my next picture isn't much cosier. These are the remains of a moth or moths which I found jammed in an eggbox cone. It's quite interesting, though, in spite of the grim subject. That cable-like thing is the moth's proboscis, winding round something attached to one of its legs. Well, we can't say Tennyson didn't warn us, with his all-too-accurate line: 'Nature, red in tooth and claw...'

On a happier note, I distributed some of my Emperor Moth cocoons to the various enthusiasts who gathered around the Kirtlington Death's Head Hawk moth ten days ago, and here are a couple of photographs of them, above and below. Don't you think the one below looks a bit like a piece of carving by Grinling Gibbons? Martin Townsend, co-author of the Moth Bible and nurturer of three hatched Death's Heads from Kirtlington now, tells me his cocoon is a female. How he knows this, I have yet to find out.

Some more moths to conclude with:  a Willow Beauty, a Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana) I think, Pyrausta despicata from below and above Update: and one which is all my own work, which is highly unusual compared with being corrected by a kindly expert, but I think this is actually Hypsopygia costalis aka the Gold Triangle micro, a Shuttle-shape Dart and a very fine capucina form of the Green-brindled LabelsCrescent.

And finally finally, a curious picture which appealed to me for some reason. As you can see, I stopped in the course of my vaccing to take it. I felt that the Pink-barred Sallow and the vacuum cleaner had something in common. As for the Daddy Long-legs, I fear that I have Hoovered up quite a few of those.

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