Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A Stag and a lot of Peacocks

A brilliant sunny day at Blashford, a little warm for my chosen task of mowing, but it had to be done. It was excellent weather for insects and along the way I encountered quite a selection, a few of which are pictured below.

First the stag, this male Stag Beetle was found near the tool store and seems to be the first record for the reserve.

Then the Peacocks, this is one of several nets of larvae on the nettles along the path on the eastern side of Ellingham Lake. The area towards the southern end is always really good for larvae of this species, the nettles are in the sun but quiet well sheltered by the roadside hedge. I suppose this makes for ideal conditions, certainly the egg-laying females seem to think so.

This is one of at least two Banded Demoiselles I saw today, the usual species at Blashford is the Beautiful, the gravel bottomed stream is much more suitable for that species. These Bandeds presumably have come up form the main river Avon which has conditions much more suited to that species.

Believe it or not this is a moth caterpillar, it looks more like a small snail, but inside the case there really is a miniature caterpillar. I am not sure yet which species but the cases are distinctive and it should be possible to name the species. It was attached to the lower part of the trunk of a large poplar tree beside Ellingham Lake.
Lastly, the least welcome insect discovery of the day. Wasps have started to build a nest just inside the door of the tool store. The nest is still quite small but has a first generation of workers actively enlarging it so it will grow fast from now on. I think it is going to have to go, this really is not a safe place to have an active wasp's nest.

1 comment:

  1. The CIC organised at its recent General Assembly an international competition on wildlife photography, with the title “Mammal Predators in Their Habitats”. For complete report http://lifeofearth.org/topics/wildlife