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Dexters, Moths and Things

Wednesday, July 20th 2016

Yesterday two Dexter Cows arrived, Liquorice and Fern, to help us with the management of the Wetland area. A lot of plants in this area benefit from a grazing regime, and although small, these two cows certainly make an impact. Thank you to Big Sheep and Little Cow near Bedale for loaning us these girls for the summer.

Checking them this morning was a bit of 'hunt the cows', especially with them lying down in such tall grass, they are not easy to spot.

Wednesday is also our opening of the moth trap set from last night. With the warm weather came some beautiful moths and other insects attracted by the mercury vapour light bulb.

This Large Emerald moth was fresh and stunning, sadly photos do these moths no justice.

Here is the more common Small Emerald.

Miller Moth.

Coxcomb Prominent.

Alas this Swallowtail was rather worn, being one of two, the better one got away before a photo could be taken.

The Red-necked Footman is a more localised species and we always feel privledged to find them.

Other insects of note caught in the moth trap was this solitary wasp. Their nests are normally in mud cavities where they take caterpillars as a food source for their young.

This larger variety of Lacewing, the delicate appearence disguising the aphid eating appetite.

The Sexton Beetle is a common visitor to the trap and smells awful, also commonly covered in mites near the head.  It lays its eggs on the festering corpse of mammals.

Another beetle was found which is normally in the ponds of the reserve, a diving beetle, which shows how mobile and flighted they can be in colonising new ponds such as our Plover Pond on the moorland. Note the strong swimming legs, certainly not fast on land.

To finish the day we did some more land management

Thanks to Elizabeth, Joan and Glennis with the identification of the moths.


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