Winter Moths and Flowers

Wednesday, November 30th 2016

Like every Wednesday I get into work and the first thing I do is open the moth trap. Lately the species have been very limited, with the numbers low so did not expect to find much this morn. However, considering the low, freezing temperatures, and also that it is December tomorrow, we were pleased with the haul. The bulk of the catch was Winter Moths, followed by the variable coloured Mottled Umber,

...below showing a dark form of the Mottled Umber.

Chris Meek, one of our dedicated moth team, came in with a Scarlet Caterpillar Club Fungi which she had found off site. Its mycelium colonizes the living insect and mummifies it, keeping it alive just long enough to generate the biomass it needs to produce the mushroom … a "spore factory" that allows this sinister fungi to reproduce. The caterpillar, quite often a moth caterpillar, is doomed once those spores take hold. The earth ball below contains the caterpillar, with the fungi sprouting on top, this was a fairly dry example.

Being the last Wednesday of the month we have a flower walk team hoping to find any flowering plant. Even this late in the year several were recorded

.

Red Campion


Herb Robert

Also recorded were Ivy, Ragwort, Creeping Buttercup, and Daisy.

Thanks to both teams for all the identification and recording.
 


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