|Pupa of Cassida rubiginosa. Creeping thistle near|
Newnham windmill, Northants. 2 September, 2015
This strange-looking creature was on a Creeping Thistle, Cirsium arvense. It is a beetle pupa; to be more precise it is the pupa of Cassida rubiginosa, known as the Thistle Tortoise beetle. Once it has emerged from this pupa the beetle, which is grass-green, will be well camouflaged.
The pupa looks obvious but a closer look shows that the strange prickle-like protuberances help to break up the creature's outline and to me it resembles a piece of dried-up thistle leaf.
|Leaf damage by the larvae of Coleophora peribenanderi.|
Thistles near Newnham windmill, Northants.
2 September, 2015
Very obvious were these perforated leaves, showing where a moth, Coleophora peribenanderi, had been at work. Known as the Pale Thistle Case-bearer, its caterpillars are quite frequent on Creeping Thistle.
|Newnham windmill. Graffiti not visible|
from this angle. 2 September, 2015
The windmill stands at the top of a rather precipitous slope. Overnight rain had left the ground slippery in places and I had to be careful as I descended this dodgy hillside. Large clumps of gorse showed not a flower, unusual on this plant.
|Small Copper on bramble blossom near Newnham|
Windmill, Northants. 2 September, 2015
The blossom on the brambles is important for, apart from a scattering of Hawkweed flowers (Pilosella species) there is not a lot about in the way of nectar sources. This should sustain insects until the ivy begins to flower. Of course there are always gardens and this is why, perhaps, I found so many on my rock garden flowers yesterday.
|A few Red Campion flowers remain. Scrub near Newnham|
windmill, Northants. 2 September, 2015
The occasional Red Campion, Silene dioica, offered nectar but it wasn't getting any takers as far as I could see. Perhaps evening moths...
Anyway, I did take plenty of insects, with sun-bathed wooden fences and posts being particularly productive, but I had something like a mile and a half to walk home so I called it a day.