Saturday, 18 January 2014


Grey Shoulder-knot on bark of willow tree in
my garden, Byfield SP515529  9 January, 2014
Stripping Ivy from a willow tree in my garden I exposed a Grey Shoulder-knot (Lithophane ornitopus). I was not surprised as it is a common and widespread moth, but fifty years ago I would have been rather excited as it was than a very scarce species in Northamptonshire. Ivy is a nuisance in many respects but it offered a snug refuge for this moth to overwinter.
Hawthorn Shieldbug, Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale
disrupting my paper-hanging efforts.  14 January, 2014

Household tasks, tedious though they often are, cannot be ignored and the winter months must be utilised for these matters. Accordingly I have set to and started redecorating my study. I fetched the paste table from the car port and there, revealed as I  opened it up, were yet more refugees. The first to creep out was a Hawthorn Shieldbug (see my blog, "The Sore-bottomed Shieldbug", 3 October, 2013). 

I removed it to a place of safety and returned to the task in hand - only for a green lacewing to flutter out and settle on the ceiling. Unsurprisingly it proved to be Chrysoperla carnea, perhaps the commonest of these insects.

A green lacewing fly, Chrysoperla carnea on a
(very uneven) ceiling. 14 January, 2014

This "species" is actually an aggregate of species, tricky to separate. The Chrysoperla carnea complex is apparently found throughout the world - and, I can now reveal to the scientific community, under paste tables. 






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