Autumn Eco Club
Saturday, September 27th 2014
Autumn has arrived at Foxglove and Eco Club children set out this morning to see what was out and about in the sunshine and to look at fruits and seeds. Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were all on the wing. Common Darters were flying in the sunshine.
Some of the trees were given a good shake and tiny spiders and flies appeared on the sheet, along with harvestman and a single Orange Ladybird. However there were then some other insects. Several of these sawfly larvae appeared out of the Italian Alder. Although the species is not known, it is quite possibly linked to the Alder trees. It is a sawfly larva and not a butterfly or moth caterpillar because there is no space between its front three pair of legs and the claspers, which are all along its body.
The next invertebrate to be looked at was this tiny insect. ID completely unknown! On enlarging the phtotograph it was seen to have rather a good set of 'fangs', probably used to catch other insects. They look too formidable to be used to suck plant juices. Camouflage and protection are obviously important as it has built itself a 'coat'!
By now observing seeds and fruits was fairly low down the list of things to look for! So our next find was a spider on the new pools. Initially it was thought to be a Raft Spider (one has been found on the lake) but it does not have the right markings.
A Buzzard overhead and a Grey Wagtail on the new pools, did not compare with all the bugs! Some fruits and seeds were looked at but everyone kept their eyes open for more invertebrates!
Thank you to everyone who helped this morning to make our autumn walk a good bug hunt!