Saturday, 24 July 2010

Watch your weevil

This Cerceris arenaria on Maulden Heath flies in with a weevil to stock her nest hole for her young to develop on.

However the hole had become obscured while she was away and she had to put down her prey to dig it open.
While her back was turned an opportunist Hedychrum niemelai (maybe) lays an egg on the weevil. Unless it was removed by the C.arenaria the ruby-tail's grub will kill the C.arenaria's grub and take over the food-store for itself

WLH laying?

This female White-letter Hairstreak in Maulden Wood was walking along Elm branches and seemingly laying on buds, typically near the ends of the branches, but on close inspection afterwards I couldn't find any eggs. Still, it shows where on elms to look for them during the winter months...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Wilstead Wood

A pleasant assortment of creatures at large today, beginning with an impressive Volucella inanis (I think, unless it is V.zonaria?)

Then a crab spider with the remains of a Barred Yellow:

The surprise of the day was a Red-tipped Clearwing. (There are a lot of goat willows in the wood on which it may have bred, which is why I was there looking for Purple Emperors (none seen)). It flew off immediately after this fuzzy banking shot, never to be seen again:

There was a nice selection of common butterflies (plus White Admiral and White-letter Hairstreak). Meadow Brown (female):

Ringlet and Small White:

Red Admiral:

Large Skipper:

Brown Argus:

Over-seeing it all was this five-legged Volucella pellucens (taken at 1/8000 second):

Sunday, 18 July 2010

King's Wood, H&R

Here are two of the 22 species seen this afternoon on a Butterfly Conservation field trip to King's Wood, Heath and Reach; two of seven Silver-washed Fritillaries and an obliging Purple Hairstreak: