Butterflies And ...

Sunday, August 13th 2017

The title for today's blog was going to be butterflies with only photographs of butterflies, but after chasing several Speckled Woods and not even getting a splodge and watching a Brimstone fly around and then lose it, I decided that one or two extra photographs would be needed.  However we will start with the butterflies that I did catch - whoops, should be photographed.

A few weeks ago the only butterflies you really noticed were the Ringlets and Meadow Browns.  Only one very bedraggled Meadow Brown was spotted on my walks.  It is the time of the Red Admiral.  They are feeding on the Hemp Agrimony

Red Admiral

Sometimes, whilst feeding they close their wings showing a beautifully marked underwing.

Underwing of Red Admiral

Peacock Butterflies are also on the wing.

Peacock Butterfly

I hope that I have correctly identified this male Large White Butterfly, feeding on a Knapweed flower.

Male Large White

Now we come to the 'And'.  This small shieldbug was sitting on the rail of a bridge so I gently moved it to a green leaf, but it decided to disappear under the leaf.  It is not often that you are able to see the underside of the bug, but you can see the pattern and the tiny dots that are the spiracles through which it breaths.

Shieldbug instar

The underside of the leaf is not green but silvery grey, better luck next time.  Having looked at an ID chart I am still unsure of the species.

Instar Shieldbug

Crossing the moor marvelling at the spread of the Harebells I noticed some that looked rather odd, so they required a  closer inspection.  Something moved and I realised that it was a spider, a rather large spider.

Closer examination of the Harebell flowers

She, as I could see no palps is one of the Garden Cross Spiders.  Hopefully a browse through my spider book will help me to track down her correct ID.  She was very attractive.

Possible Garden Cross Spider species

Walking off the moor I heard a noise and looked skywards to see a Buzzard being harried by some corvids.

Buzzard and corvids


(1) Comments:

Colin D responded on 16th Nov 2017 with...

The “and”  is a Shieldbug Nymph .Shieldbugs go through 4 moults to reach an Adult Stage which Can fly and reproduce   Its an Early Mid Instar Stage very likely to be the Bronze Shieldbug Troilus luridus. There are aprox 42 Species of British Shieldbug the majority of which are Phytophageus ( Feeding on Plant Sap ) although 3 are capable of extracting fluids from insects with a hardened stlus ( mouth part ) Eg Bronze and spiked SB . . The wing books of this early Juvenile have not yet descended . Many of the Species lay their eggs in clusters of 28 and usually the juveniles will be found in clusters close to the site were they laid . Some of the adult characters are preserved on the antennae were two yellow bands will develop , just about visible in your shot . The stink glands are also visible in early stages and most SB like Ladybirds will exude a harmless pungent aroma when handled


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