Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Daventry wildlife

I have often commented [Ed: too often!] on the wildlife to be seen in Daventry town centre. Indeed, probably most town centres support an abundance of mini-beasts. Not exactly the Serengeti of course although rumour has it that a beaver has occasionally been glimpsed of an evening.
The keys of an ash tree near Tavern Lane were bearing grotesque growths like brown cauliflowers.

Aceria fraxinivora. These growths become more obvious in the autumn,
when the leaves have fallen. Daventry town centre. 10 July, 2018
They were the work of a mite, Aceria fraxinivora. It is widespread but, it seems, rather under-recorded.

Sweet Potato, Morning Glory and bindweeds all belong to the same family, the Convolvulaceae, and it was interesting to find that the Sweet Potato Leaf Miner, Bedellia somnuletella, had attacked some Hedge Bindweed, Calystegia sepium, beside a town centre car park.
The Sweet Potato Leaf Miner will attack various species of bindweed.
Daventry town centre. 10 July, 2018
Unsurprisingly the Bedellidae, to which this moth belongs, is overwhelmingly a tropical family and this species is its only British representative.

Another moth had been at work on beech, Fagus sylvatica, leaves. The larva of the Small Beech Pigmy, Stigmella tityrella, produces this curious zig-zag mine, which is normally restricted between two leaf veins.

The Small Beech Pigmy is small and lives on beech leaves!
Daventry. 10 July, 2018
The leaf margin, particularly on the right, bears a slightly rolled appearance, the work of a mite, Acalitus stenaspis.

The Holly Blue butterfly, Celastrinus argiolus, is so named because its caterpillars feed on the developing flower buds of holly, although it will also make use of ivy, bramble, spindle and so on. It is frequent in gardens.

The Holly Blue is by no means dependent on holly. Daventry town centre.
10 July, 2018
Here a specimen is resting on a bramble leaf, again in the town centre.

And all this on a ten-minute stroll!

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