Every now and again one comes across something genuinely strange. This is a giant wood wasp (urocerus gigas), about 4 cms long. The brown rod beneath her sting is the sheath of her ovipositor, and gives it the common name of horntail. She lays her eggs in sick or recently felled pine. The black rod is the actual ovipositor and she is pushing it into the pine wood. Her abdominal muscles ripple with the effort required. The larvae take up to three years to mature
Monday, July 28, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
It has been predicted recently that this will be a good year for peacock butterflies. They are attracted to hemp agrimony, a common wild flower locally and there were four on this one small patch to the side of one of the meadows at Greenscoombe. The moth below is a rosy footman (miltochrista miniata), described as 'local' in my reference book ie not that common everywhere. It is a very striking salmon orange colour.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
link). The meadows were teeming with the usual mid July suspects, including dozens of small skippers (as above) meadow browns, ringlets and silver washed fritillaries. Very few red admirals and no tortoiseshells or peacocks. Five common blues which is definitely up on the last two years.