Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Moths and Leaf Cutter Bees
The hot and humid nights continue to bring in some great moths to the trap.
Two Peppered Moths - one livelier than the other!
I was over the moon to trap Burnished Brass for the first time - a really beautiful little moth with the most incredible green metallic sheen - the photos don't do it justice.
Figure of Eighty was another new species for the garden
The Footmen have arrived. Common Footman (New for Year)
I think this micro species is Dipleurina (now Eudonia) lacustrata? But please correct me if I am wrong.
Far more moths escaped than were potted and I have to admit to encouraging most of the micros to leave only counting the species I already recognise or potting any unusual looking ones.
Summary of Moths Trapped Sunday, 14th July
Minimum Temperature 11.1 degrees Centigrade
15w Actinic Skinner Trap
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) x 3
2050 Common Footman (Eilema lurideola) x 3 (New for Year)
2381 Uncertain (Hoplodrina elsines) x 14
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronumba) x 3
2089 Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) x 7
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) x 2
1921 Scalloped Oak (Cocallis elinguaria) x 1
1931 Peppered Moth (Biston betularia) x 2
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) x 1
1428 Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella) x 1
1294 Crambus pascuella x 5
1654 Figure of Eighty (Tethea ocularis) x 1 (New for Garden)
2434 Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) x 1 (New for Garden)
2278 Poplar Grey (Acronicta megacephala) x 1 (New for Year)
1302 Crambus perlella (New for Garden)
1338 Dipleurina (Eudonia) lacustrata ?? (Would be New for Year)
Leaf Cutter Bees
I am really rather pleased that a species of Leaf Cutter Bee is using one of the Bee Houses. Every day it can be seen going in and out with small pieces of leaf. Today there were three around - apparently males can hang around egg-laying females.
Here's the bee house with pieces of leaf blocking entrances to tubes presumably when egg laying is completed.
And here's a picture of the bee itself.
Edit - I have just posted this photo on Twitter and have been told rather excitedly that this is not a photo of the actual leaf cutter bee that is taking in leaves but rather of the Cuckoo Bee (Coelyoxis) that parasitises the leaf cutter's eggs/larvae!!!!
Leaf Cutter Bees are solitary bees which nest in holes in plant stems, dead wood or walls. They "cut" discs out of leaves (apparently roses are their favourites - we don't have too many roses so am not quite sure what leaf the bee is taking in) and then glue them together with saliva to build tiny cells in which the larvae will live. The larvae pupate in autumn and then hibernate during the winter.
This species of bee is on the wing from April to August and feeds solely on pollen and nectar and is an important pollinator.
Finally, a photo of one of Brian's hanging baskets - this year's are the best he has grown! I think due to the fact that he bought a much larger type of hanging basket which you can stuff with a lot of plants.