Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dare I say, Kentle Wood?

For me, blogging has become a way of keeping an on-line wildlife diary. On some days when, for example, it is raining, I am engaged in other things. Yesterday it was a faulty toilet cistern and repairing a bedside reading lamp. I decided that, exciting though it was, it didn't demand a blog.

Today I snatched an hour at Kentle Wood. Not a blog, I decided; I've done this site - my wildlife 'patch' - to death. No more...

Lyonetia clerckella mine on cherry leaves.
Kentle Wood.  25 Augusr, 2015
Yesterday had been a day of almost constant rain. It is often the case that when warm weather follows rain, insects can be abundant, but today was cool and cloudy. There won't be much about I decided. A mine was present on a cherry leaf and was the work of the Apple Leaf Miner, Lyonetia clerkella, a very common moth which, as the name suggests, is found on apple trees but plums, cherries and their relatives are also affected.

But there were insects about, although I would hardly call them exciting.

Large White on cherry leaf. Kentle Wood,
Daventry. 25 August, 2015

A Large White, Pieris brassicae, was on a cherry leaf, perhaps waiting for a rise in temperature to get it going. The Large White has a dark patch at the wing -tip which extends quite a long way around. It isn't all that common in woodlands where brassicas and their relatives are rarely found. 

Speckled Wood on Cherry at Kentle Wood, Daventry.
25 August, 2015

And on yet another cherry leaf a Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria, also seemed to be waiting for the sun to get to work.

I was surprised to find that I had failed to record either the Large White or the Apple Leaf Miner from Kentle Wood before.

Knopper Gall on oak. Kentle Wood, Daventry.
25 August, 2015
At this time of the year - as I pointed out in my previous blog - galls force their way into our consciousness. Today it was the turn of Andricus quercuscalicis on oak.  Known as the Knopper Gall, it only became established in Britain during the 1970's, but is now extremely common.

Widespread though it is, the Knopper Gall requires the presence of Turkey Oak, Quercus cerris, to compete its life-cycle, yet I know of none in the immediate area. This was another 'first' for Kentle Wood. 'Knopper' is the German word for gall, so in effect we are calling it a Gall gall. [A similar case of tautology occurs with the River Avon since 'avon' derives from the Proto-Brythonic word for a river; we speak therefore of the River River.]

Field Maple leaf, bearing galls of Aceria macrochela.
Kentle Wood, Daventry. 25 August, 2015

Aceria macrochela is a gall found only on Field Maple, Acer campestre. Here it sits on an angle between the leaf veins, a characteristic position.

Phyllocolpa oblita, a sawfly, whose larvae caused this
leaf roll on willow. Kentle Wood, 25 August, 2015

The edge of this willow leaf is rolled downwards and is caused by one of the sawflies, in this case Phyllocolpa oblita. Many sawflies cause galls on willows; this one is moderately common.  

Here a view of the underside makes the roll clear. [Look at those hands: I must get to work with my L'Oreal - because I'm worth it.]

A virus? Hawthorn leaves at Kentle Wood, Daventry.
25 August, 2015

I was puzzled to find hawthorn leaves showing very obvious white patches. It is probably caused by a virus but it seems that not a lot is known about these  problems. One consequence of the affliction is that other insect damage stands out clearly.

These pock-marks are probably the work of the weevil Rhamphus oxyacanthae. I couldn't locate a specimen so I'm suspending judgement for now.

Shaded Broad-bar at Kentle Wood,  Daventry.
25 August, 2015

I disturbed a moth from long grass and it fluttered quite a long way before settling. I have cautiously identified it as a Shaded Broad-bar, Scotopteryx chenopodiata. These - carpet moths and their allies - can be a bit tricky but I am reasonably confident. Everything seems to fit including the season - 'up to late August' says one book; 'easily disturbed by day', says another authority. Yep - that's it.

And finally...
The larva of Arge pagana, a common and widespread
sawfly. Kentle Wood, Daventry.  25 August, 2015

A wild rose, stripped of its leaves, looked like the work of a sawfly and I soon found the culprit. It was Arge pagana, well-known as a serious defoliator of roses both wild and cultivated. it was another addition to the Kentle Wood list.

So, for a cool and rather miserable morning it turned out quite well - and I got home before the rain arrived.

No comments:

Post a Comment