"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

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)

Scalloped Oak

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.


Chris Rohrer said...

Hello there:) I believe of all the creatures in this world....I think that we've only scraped the surface on these incredibly diverse moths.

Countryside Tales said...

OOh I LOVE those leaf cutter bees! How clever to cut the leaf like that. I've been a bit sniffy about twitter but your post tells me it's a useful tool, perhaps I should venture onto it? Lovely moths too.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Hi Chris :) I think you are right even here in Britain (with far fewer species than you probably get ) the diversity is incredible :)

Countryside Tales - Worth looking out for them in your garden.

Am really in two minds about Twitter. I joined just over a year ago and tweeted about once every few days!!! Then I discovered it was a very useful tool to help stop the badger cull and I was on there all the time. I find it very addictive and time consuming!! But you do "meet" some incredibly nice friendly people on there with similar interests to yourself which is great. I have had my share of nasty comments though from pro-cull types!! I don't use facebook though. That combined with twitter and blogging would be too much!!

Lou Mary said...

Wowee that burnished brass moth is soo pretty!! I have a few moth photos which I may need assistance identifying from yourself and CT, when I eventually get around to finishing the post!

I love your bee box thing! We once saw a leaf cutter bee cutting a bit of a camellia leaf off.

That hanging basket is something to be proud of!

SeagullSuzie said...

More amazing moths with amazing names! Good information on the Leaf Cutter Bees, I'll look out for them. Well done Brian.

Wendy said...

Wonderful to see more lovely moths and I'd be fascinated by the Leaf Cutter Bees going in and out of the bee house. Obviously the Cuckoo Bee is interested, too!

Ragged Robin said...

Lou Mary - Thank you. Glad you liked the Burnished Brass - so glad you are starting mothing - very happy to help, if I can, with id :)

I was out today but tomorrow I'll be following the leaf cutters around the garden trying to catch them cutting off the leaves!!

SeagullSuzie - Thank you. Moth names are endlessly fascinating :) Hope you manage to see some Leaf Cutter Bees.

Wendy - Thank you. So glad you liked the moths and enjoyed the Bees :)

Em Parkinson said...

What a great name a Figure of Eighty is! So beautiful - all of them and great to see the leaf cutter bee too.

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Thanks. Its a brilliant name I agree! I just love moth names some are so descriptive :)