Sunday, 28 June 2015

Martin's Wintergreens

Thanks to Martin for showing me his Wintergreen site; I would have taken ages to find it myself. In general appearance they looked bang on for Common Wintergreen, but to be sure, I dissected one of the individual flowers, to look at the Style. Round-leaved Wintergreen has a long, lazy 'S' shaped Style, while that of Common Wintergreen has a short, straight one. There is a hybrid called Intermediate Wintergreen, the Style of which half way between the two in length, and is gently curved. Martin's Wintergreens are definitely Common but that is a misnomer, because it is actually scarce and declining.

There were several of these tortrix moths flying about: Celypha lacunana. It is one of the commonest micros encountered at this time of year, in long vegetation and is easily told by the narrow, pale longitudinal stripe cutting through the lower third of the broad, dark cross band.

After Martin left, I explored the site for a bit, finding this attractive little beetle in the same sallow as the Sallow Kitten caterpillar. It is a Galerucella and as there was no standing water nearby, with Purple Loosestrife or Water Dock, it is probably Galerucella lineola, which is found in various trees, including sallow.

I left the site and went to a nearby grassland, where there were quite a few Burnet moths on the wing, plus a few Silver Y moths, the latter too jumpy to approach. The Burnets were either Five-spot or Narrow-bordered Five-spot. It is very difficult to tell with the adults. The caterpillars are much easier to tell apart.

On the stem of a Rose-bay Willowherb, I came across this pair. The ugly character on the left is an Alder Spittle-bug (Aphrophora alni), which is moderately common, but usually not too far from Alders. Its more attractive friend is a Plant Hopper and I think it might be Dicranotropis hamata, but there are a few similar to it and not all the required identification features are visible in the photos I took.

On a clump of Creeping Thistle, I found this nice Picture-winged Fly. It was a female and was laying eggs on the flower buds of the thistles, an association which allowed me to identify it as Xyphosia miliaria. The breeze had picked up by now, blowing the thistles about and being so small, my macro lens was at its limits, so you'll have to excuse the poor photos.

Having been told which part of Roberstown he'd seen the Bee Beetle, I decided to try my luck and was rewarded with a brief encounter, before it zoomed off to flowers new. While there, I found this Hairy Shield-bug and so endeth a great afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. Nice read mark and thats the sheid bug i been see in over there and great company as always and great spotting to find that sallow kitten caterpillar mate