Thursday, 25 August 2016

Sad scrap

The handsome Vanessid butterflies have been around in the garden for a while, Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells in particular, noticeably more commanding in their powerful flight than the 'cabbage' Whites and Meadow Browns which flutter around. They are fewer as yet than in previous years and I have not yet definitely seen a Peacock, usually the most common of them. Mind you, a butterfly's life is always a hard one as the scad scrap of Small Tortoiseshell on our car boot sill shows, above.

In the moth trap, meanwhile, I had an unusual infestation on Monday night, several thousand of these midget beetles. I had place it on an outdoors table close to an unruly hawthorn hedge. The sheer profligacy of Nature still surprises me although you seldom get anywhere near these sorts of numbers with moths.

I wonder if these are their parents - a small type of beetly creature which was also present in the dozens.  I don't think so, judging by body shape, but beetles and their kind are an unknown, if fascinating, world to me. Update: many thanks to my Commentor for revealing that the bigger creatures are Pentatoma rufipes, Forest or Red-legged Shield Bugs. The little beetles are probably just that, little beetles of a type unknown. There was also a lone grasshopper in the eggboxes, but it hopped off.

An Angle Shades' decision to slumber on the transparent trap cowl gave me the chance to get an unusual underwing, showing a tubby body in comparison to the sleek outline of its folded wings. Turning the cowl over, I took the more customary photo of the same moth below.

Otherwise the lovely warm weather has yet to bring in anything specially notable but below are a Poplar Kitten from one of my favourite tribes, an alarmed Poplar Hawk unusually showing its warning blotches of red and a Common or Lesser Common Rustic with a couple more of the little people. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin

I think your larger 'beetles' are actually Pentatoma rufipes(Forest Shield Bugs or Red-legged Shield Bugs), in spite of the fact you had the trap near Hawthorn and there are Hawthorn Shield Bugs too. Shield Bugs do have earlier instars which can look quite different from the adult, but I think the smaller ones are a type of Beetle, but which I don't know.

called Forest Shield Bug here:
called Red-legged Shield Bug here:

I hope you don't mind me linking these sites (assuming the links worked), but I thought you may have encountered some of the other varieties of Hemiptera and may find them useful.

Martin Wainwright said...

Once again, thanks so much for your expertise and those very useful links. I've updated.