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Early Autumn Sightings

Saturday, September 7th 2019

Devil's Bit Scabious flowers late and colours path edges and meadows purple.  Butterflies are often seen feeding from it as are bees.

Early autumn is also the time when we are likely to see more caterpillars.  On the 17th August I found a very tiny Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar crawling along the rail of a bridge.  I found another on the 4th September and marvelled at not only its size but the amount of hairs and the thickness of them.  It was on willow, a plant not specifically mentioned in the list of food plants for these larvae, although it does say wide range, so possibly willow could be covered.

Water Figwort should grow where it is damp but there is a large clump growing next to the porta-cabin.  I noticed some small round brown cases on the stalk but could not really see what they were, but did wonder if they could be the pupa cases of the Figwort Weevil.  A few days later I was proved correct as there sitting on the stem was the weevil itself and it did not do its usual trick of falling onto the ground when the camera lens was close to it.  They feed on the fruits of Water Figwort.  We have the adult, the pupal case and all we have to do next year is look for the larvae, which various authorities are not very complimentary about.  One refers to it as a slimy yellow green blob!


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