Interesting Bits and Pieces

Sunday, May 28th 2017

On Wednesday we caught a moth in the trap and we said 'We know that.'  Unfortunately after searching the moth ID book to no avail we decided that we did not know the moth.  A suggestion 'Is it a micro?'  Out came the micro book and yes it was, a female Bee Moth. 

Caterpillars eat green plants, well most do, but not this one.  The larvae feed on old cells and debris of bee and wasp nests.  They also feed on the brood itself.  Masses of pupal cocoons made of dense, tough silk can be found in dry, dark places.

The very warm weather ensured that few moths sat still very long for a photo to be taken, so one in the pot first and that was the only one!

Bee Moth

Most green plants photosynthesise.  Some like Yellow Rattle, Lousewort and Eyebright are semi-parasitic living off other green plants.  Common Butterwort is insectivorous and catches insects on its leaves, which then roll up and the insects are digested, in this way providing nutrients for the plant.  Its beautiful flower, just opening, belies its feeding habits!

Common butterwort just coming into flower

Some years ago I noticed that some of the Red Campion flowers along Risedale Beck were producing brown pollen from their stamens.  It wasn't until a later date researching Red Campion that I found that it was not pollen but a fungus called a smut, Campion Anther Smut.

It has not been recorded for some time, but this year it has made its appearance on flowers at the head of the Scrapes.  Those along Risedale Beck do not flower until later.

Campion Anther Smut

CES 3 took place today.  Nest boxes, on the training area were also checked.  Thank you to everyone who helped today.


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