Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Friday, 27 April 2012

New Butterfly Conservation reserve

Today I visited the new Butterfly Conservation reserve in the Cotswolds. It's hard to assess the quality of a site in rubbish weather at this time of year but it looks like a decent quality limestone grassland which, unlike most new reserve aquisitions, doesn't seem to need urgent restoration management.

A varied assortment of species were seen between and during the showers; Roman Snail, the first I've seen in about 10 years.

A couple of Micropterix tunbergella were found resting on a beech trunk although only one poor shot was obtained before they flew off. Micropterix species are the most primitive moths and the adults have functional mandibles which they use to feed on pollen.

An Adonis Blue larva was a nice find. Apparently, if you put them on the tip of your tongue you can taste the sugary excretions that they use to attract ants. I didn't try!

Finally, we found a number of larvae under loose Sycamore bark. Thus far I have failed to put a name to them. Any ideas, do let me know.

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