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.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

What heatwave?

The supposed heatwave has so far produced more in the way of rain than anything approaching summer but the sun did show itself for one afternoon so I headed up to Stanley Common to see what was around.

The total absence of worthwhile nectar meant that insects were thin on the ground, and in the air for that matter. Everything I netted in flight seemed to be a Staphylinid beetle so was promptly released. Life is too short.

I did get a few new species for the year. Gymnocheta viridis is a parasitic fly whose larvae feed in the larvae of Noctuid moths.
File:Gymnocheta viridis. Tachinidae (33836100342).jpg
Gymnocheta viridis (Wikipedia Commons)

A Striped Ladybird Myzia oblongoguttata was beaten from pine foliage.

Striped Ladybird
An Orange Underwing moth Archiearis parthenias whizzed past and a Psychid moth Taleporia tubulosa was hauling it's case up an oak trunk.

Taleporia tubulosa larval case
My first Willow Warbler was singing in the birch but after a while switched to a very wonky version of Chiffchaff. Before anyone gets over-excited it wasn't an Iberian Chiffchaff, just a Willow Warbler with an identity problem.

The highlight of the last few days however was the emergence of Glyphipterix haworthana from the cottongrass seed heads that I collected on Skye a couple of weeks ago.

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