Monday, 8 April 2019

A dull blog for a dull day - take 2

The weather forecast for Daventry today was for a wet afternoon, so of course it was warm and dry. The sun even managed to muscle the clouds to one side to encourage insects to emerge and bask.

Shieldbugs were out and about including my first-ever Brassica Bug, Eurydema oleracea. It is by no means a rare insect but for years has eluded me. Yet there were several on Garlic Mustard towards the Westerburg Square end of the pocket park. The red markings are often replaced by yellow, orange or cream.

Brassica Bug on Garlic Mustard. Stefen Hill Pocket Park, Daventry.
8 April, 2019

Also present was a Sloe Bug, Dolycoris baccarum, on nettles. The black and white bands on the antennae make it very distinctive.

Sloe Bug on Stinging Nettle. Stefen Hill Pocket Park, Daventry.
8 April, 2019

And to complete a trio, probably the commonest of the three, a Green Shieldbug,  Palomina prasina, still in its winter coloration but now showing some green on the scutellum.

Green Shieldbug, also on nettle in the pocket park. 8 April, 2019

I was pleased too in finding a caterpillar of the Magpie Moth, Abraxis grossulariata, although it was tricky to photograph amongst a tangle of twigs. It will live on a variety of shrubs but here it is on a rose. It belongs to the Geometridae Family. We call them looper caterpillars but in America they are known as inch worms.

Caterpillar of Magpie Moth. Again in the pocket park. 8 April, 2018
This proved to be a very productive visit, with eleven new species added to the site total. It's wonderful what a bit of warm sunshine can do!


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