Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Rarer Tiger

Although there were not many moths in the trap, there were a couple of new ones for the year. The finest was an immaculate garden tiger, this used to be a very common species all over the place, but now I very rarely see them. This is not because of any lack of food, as the caterpillars will eat all kinds of general weedy plants, so just why they have decline so much is a bit of a mystery. There was also a gothic, another species I see rather rarely, but the garden tiger makes the better picture.
A good part of the day was taken up with a meeting, so I did not get out until after lunch and that was taken rather late. The carp removing team were working on Mockbeggar Lake again today, although I did not see them until they were leaving, once again they had caught a fair load of fish, so there are evidently lots more to go yet.
When I went to check upon my Crassula experiment I saw a bee resting on a low marsh thistle, it was a leaf-cutter bee. It was about the size of a honey-bee but are in many ways quite unlike most other bees. As the name suggests they cut leaves, rose is a favourite, using the leaf pieces to make their brood cells. They also do not collect pollen in the usual pollen baskets on the hind legs, instead using long hairs on the underside of the abdomen.

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