Monday, 13 May 2019

Kentle Wood: mid-May

It must be the best part of a year since I last visited Kentle Wood (a check later showed that it had been 19 months!). It looked in fine fettle and with the sun shining it was a good place to be.

Insects were basking on the foliage, this female Tachina fera being an eye-catching example.

Tachina fera. It seems to have no common name but perhaps it ought
to have one. Kentle Wood, 13 May, 2019

This insect is a parasite. It lays its eggs in a suitable place, where they hatch and lie in wait for a host, usually the caterpillar of a Noctuid moth. It latches on to the victim and...

The genus gives its name to the Tachinidae family.

Also apparently enjoying the sun was this little shieldbug. It is a Woundwort Bug, Eysarcoris venustissima, and it feeds on Hedge Woundwort, of which there is plenty in Kentle Wood.

Woundwort Shieldbug, but here on a cherry leaf. KentleWood,
Daventry. 13 May, 2019
From the front it appears to be wearing a pair of dark goggles, much needed in the dazzling sunshine.

After sweeping some shrubs beside the ride I found this 'looper' caterpillar in my net. These loopers are members of the Geometridae, a very large and economically important family.

Hardly an exciting find. Mottled Umber larva swept (probably) from oak.
Kentle Wood, 13 May, 2019
As I have often mentioned, butterflies and moths are not my thing but even so, I am happy that this is the Mottled Umber, Erannis defoliaria. This is an abundant moth whose larvae are found on a wide range of trees and shrubs. The damage it inflicts to trees can be guessed from the specific name.

Once again I'll be putting in a few hours working my way through the many specimens of fly I gathered. Well, someone has to do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment