"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

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Peacock Flutter, Bee and Moths

Peacock butterfly in the garden which actually put in an appearance whilst (not after or before!) I was doing another Butterfly Count last week

Peacock (Aglais io)
The spectacular eyespots have evolved to confuse or startle predators. This species overwinters as a butterfly and breeds in Spring with the new brood emerging in July. Nettles are the caterpillar food plant. Named after Io who was ravished by Zeus!

Bumble Bee (White-tailed, I think) on Cosmos. We grew Cosmos for the first time last year and its so popular with bees and hoverflies that we plan to grow it every year.

Due to overnight rain I didn't put the moth trap out for a week but I set it up last Thursday evening, 31st July

Yellow Shell (New for Year)

Mother of Pearl - this particular one was a little worn but when you see a fresh specimen you can see how it gets its name. (New for Year)

Straw Underwing

Scarce Footman (New for Year)

You can see better in the second photo - how this species wraps its wings round its body.

Apart from a few species of micro moth on the Garden Moth Scheme list (and a few distinctive micros) that I recognise I still haven't made much effort to id the tiny "micro" moths even though I've bought the new micro "bible". However, I have decided to pot just a few of the dozens I get in the trap each trapping session to start having a serious attempt at identification.

I think this one might be Eudonia mercurella???? Any help welcome!

I often trap Ichneumon Wasps, Caddisflies and Shield Bugs, but it was interesting to note how many ladybirds were round the trap on Thursday. Most were Harlequins unfortunately but it was good to see a couple of native species.

Eudonia mercurella??

Summary of Moths Trapped Thursday, 31st July

Minimum Temperature 16.3 degrees centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) x 5

2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) x 8

2381 Uncertain (Hoplodrina alsines) x 27

1921 Scalloped Oak (Crocallis elinguaria) x 1

2198 Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura) x 1

2289 Knot Grass (Acronicta rumicis) x 1

2303 Straw Underwing (Thalpophila matura) x 9

2293 Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica) x 10

2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) x 1 (New for Year)

2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) x 14

1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) x 2

2343 Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis) x 2

1742 Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata) x 1 (New for Year)

1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) x 5 )New for Year)

1362 Pyrausta aurata x 1 (New for Year)

2047 Scarce Footman (Eilema complana) x 1 (New for Year)

2318 Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina) x 1 (New for Year)

1302 Crambus perlella x 3


SeagullSuzie said...

Cosmos is a real winner with the bees. I went to the garden centre and bought 3 lovely plants which are in a container on the patio. Every time I'm out there I am surrounded by bees-it's lovely. I did the butterfly count today and have just submitted my results from my garden watch. If the weather is good next week I might go on the coastal path and do another.
Dis you see Horizon last night on 'Whats killing our bees'?

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - We've planted it in the front and back garden this year - so impressed. If you deadhead it, it flowers for months too :) Glad you've had chance to do the butterfly count - I've done several for garden and if I go out next week will do one there too. I would imagine coastal footpath would be a great habitat for them!

Yes, I did see the Horizon programme - thought it was good and the ongoing research v. interesting. (Not keen on GM crops idea though :( )Will have to see if I can find out results of some the research when available. Just glad EU decided to follow Precautionary Principle approach!!

Countryside Tales said...

I particularly like the yellow shell and the straw underwing, haven't seen either of those before. Lovely peacock butterfly too. They are stunning aren't they? My moth box is out less at the mo- combination of weather and school holidays. I do miss the moths.

David Turner said...

Lovely Peacock shots Caroline, there seems to be loads about again this year :-)

I hadn't been mothing for a week or so as I didn't feel up to it after losing our cat (he liked to 'help' me empty the trap in the mornings) but I had it out the other night and caught so many I didn't even bother with the micros! I like your Straw Underwing and I agree regarding the Eudonia mercurella (though the Scopariinae species are all very similar aren't they).

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thank you. I'm back to trapping once a week due to weather - seem to forecast rain every night!

David Turner - Thank you. Lots of peacocks locally here too - hoping for more when the buddleias come into flower more!

I can understand why you haven't felt up to trapping - its nearly a year since our rabbit died and I still look for him whenever I go out onto the patio.

I find some of the macros hard enough to id esp. when worn! but the micros are v. difficult - so small and so lively and so difficult to photograph! I shall persevere - and try and learn a few at a time!

Chris Rohrer said...

I love going over to the botanical gardens and checking out the flowers that attract the various insects etc. And then I think about what would work in my own garden:) I really love attracting the butterflies!

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - I always think of you when I see butterflies :) - Are you volunteering at the butterfly place again this year? Same here re: attracting insects - try to add different plants each year to attract more :)

Jerry said...

Very nice collection of moths - yes I agree with you about Eudonia mercurella - it's pretty dark, the cross lines are not wavy and the shape looks good to me but I'm no authority. That reminds me I've yet to fill in my GMS spreadsheet for Friday.

Ragged Robin said...

Jerry - Many thanks and extra thanks for id help re: micro. You've reminded me too of GMS sheet - have rather a lot of weeks to enter :( One of these days I will keep up my wildlife records regularly updated!!!!

Wendy said...

Lovely photos, especially of the Peacock. They've certainly found the buddleias here this year, it's wonderful to see them. Because I became so behind with everything in the spring this is the first year I haven't grown much Cosmos, I do miss it in the garden!

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy Many thanks :) Our buddleias only have a few flowers out so hoping when they open fully for more Peacocks :) My nasturtiums normally self-seed but none seem to have done so this year so am missing those.

Lou Mary said...

I love peacocks! There is one feeding on the buddleia in my garden as I write! Great moths too! Do you know if mother of pearls fly during the day?

Ragged Robin said...

Lou Mary - The colours of Peacocks are unbelievable - numbers are building in the garden as more buddleia flowers open :) Although flowers are too high to get photos :(

Have had a look in my Micro Moth book - re: Mother of Pearl - it says they are readily disturbed in the daytime from nettle patches. Hope that helps :)

Chris Rohrer said...

I have volunteered twice at the Butterfly Pavilion, but birding and travel have kept me busy:) Now I'm trapped at work!:(

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - I did wonder if you were going to be volunteering again at the Butterfly Pavilion this year. Sorry you're back at work :( but so enjoying reading of your travel adventures and sights on your blog :)