Thursday, 9 May 2013

Lily Beetle - I spoke too soon!

 Only a few days ago (30 April to be precise), I was rejoicing in the fact that so far this year I'd seen no Lily Beetles. Well, I still haven't seen any in my garden, but they are about.  I spotted one in a local garden only yesterday, furtively peeping out from between the leaves of a choice lily. It must have regretted its scarlet coloration, but it didn't live long to dwell on the matter.
Lily Beetle,Lilioceras lilii in a byfield garden.
8 May, 2013

Speaking of beetles, they are not a group to which I pay much attention but when one finished up in my sweep net in the Pocket Park yesterday I did check it out. It looked familiar and was clearly one of the longhorn beetles so it didn't take more than a few moments to confirm my suspicions. 

For such a tiny insect (body length only 4 mm) it has an inordinately long name: The Lesser Thorn-tipped Longhorn Beetle. For once the Latin name, Pogonochoerus hispidus, is less of a mouthful. It is hardly a striking insect and at first I though I had swept up a piece of bird poo. (In fact a number of moths genuinely do look like bird droppings, with obvious benefits; they are often referred to - with regrettable vulgarity - as bird crap moths.)
Lesser Thorn-tipped Longhorn Beetle
Byfield Pocket Park

This, plus a couple of other new insects for the Pocket Park, brought the total species count there to 440 so I was smugly pleased with my efforts.

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