Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Larval Life Down The Lane

Some might remember that within a couple of minutes from my front door, I can be on a rural lane running through what is sterile farmland on one side and sterile grazing on the other. I used to walk down there a lot, and then stopped when a service road was laid down running up to an area of new housing. I also stopped because that co-incided with me completely losing interest and having no time for a while. Anyway, I had a quick walk down there today and started to remember what I have been missing.

Yellowhammers singing, Little Owl calling, Buzzards mewing, Red-legged Partridges being fat and stupid etc. Plus a fair bit of insect activity in what was a warm sunny spell between heavy showers.

I found a few larvae, although actually these were right at the top of lane by the last houses. I found a big lettuce of some sort, and there were plenty of small larvae on it.

Big lettuce (Prickly?) - I'm going to keep my eye on it and hope someone doesn't 'tidy up'.

A small group of larvae (at least ten times this lot) - surely Small Ranunculus?
I'll try and collect a few to rear once they are bigger - shouldn't be too long.

Also a handful of Cinnabar on a few straggly ragworts near to the lettuce.

The other larva was more of a surprise and a lot more funky, found whilst wildly bashing some elm hedgerow with my net.

Comma - the first time I've knowingly seen the larva

There were a fair few common butterflies on the wing too, though not many sat still for long enough to grab a shot ......

Damaged Red Admiral

Strangely similarly but differently damaged Red Admiral on typical resting substrate

Knackered Comma

Damage-free Gatekeeper

And there were plenty of hovers on the thistles and ragwort .... including two of these beauties ..

Volucella inanis

And another.

Meanwhile, the garden banana has been taken down. I had x2 Copper Underwing agg. on it on Thursday night, but by Friday it was looking a bit manky and with the cooler/wetter spell it was time to take it down. But there will be another when the conditions suit! So in lieu of banana-action, here's a shot of our resident git prowling the fence.

Benny, with a face that say 'Move!'


Gibster said...

Looks good for Prickly Lettuce, mate. It orientates its leaves to face the sun, pretty damn distinctive! And surely you saw the Comma larva I found when we were still in the car park at Chiddingfold on the PSL day? My banana is a bit pants, cooler tonight too. Meh.

Skev said...

Sure it is Prickly, I just couldn't be arsed to attempt any proper botany.

Gone back to sugar for the moment - four Copper Underwings (hindwings checked) and a Herald this evening. I'll have another go with a banana when we get the next sustained high. At your latitude you may well need a bunch to get anything!

Don't recall a Comma larva, but I forgot lots from that meet and I missed the best half of the weekend after having to head home with wife hospitalised ....