Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Entomological weekend

First-up is last week's unidentified Tortrix from the Black Park session. The lovely photo is by David Howdon. He tells me that it may well be Syndemis musculana.
The half-way decent weather at the weekend set me off on an entomological adventure. Two butterfly outings and a mothing session at Perivale. I was on a mission to film Duke of Burgundies, Green Hairstreaks and some extra Orange-tip. I've found a wonderful local site for Orange-tip which is right underneath Heathrow. It's a hidden gem - but all of the footage is going to need dubbing to remove the 747s.

Dusking at Perivale produced Sandy and Green Carpets, Brimstones and Common White Waves (as well as dodgy grass-moth micro things). Traps contained more Green Carpets, a male Muslin Moth and this very attractive Maiden's Blush, as well as Shuttle-shaped Dart and Rustic Shoulder-knot.

A trip to the Sussex Downs was in order to catch up with the Dukes. These super-belligerent wee butterflies are magical: the males perch on obvious high points, and then chase anything that moves. If another Duke arrives they tussle in an ever-ascending spiral. Their half-life is short due to their warring ways, and finding a pretty specimen for filming can be tricky. We managed a few, but Max is still trying to think up a cunning plan for capturing their dog-fighting without resorting to Planet Earth type BBC technology.

No Green Hairstreaks were found (I'm blaming the weather), but I did see lots of orchids and this bug. I *think* they are Early Purple Orchid and Cercopsis vulnerata. I could well be wrong.

I found a moth larva too. I'm think it's Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet. Answers on a postcard.
This week I shall be mostly praying for good weather to do some Green Hairstreaks.

1 comment:

wildlife said...

I'm hoping for good weather too. We're planning on to run off and go camping next Wednesday.

The moths all have such cool names: Green Hairstreaks, Sandy Carpets, Rustic Shoulder-knot. Heh :-)