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Lots of Legs

Saturday, June 9th 2018

One of the things that I miss during the winter months is turning over leaves and logs to see what is hiding there.  Spring and summer walks often take some time as holes in leaves, funny shapes and shadows are all checked just in case an interesting 'thing' is present and ready to be photographed.  If you have an interest in 'things' that have lots of legs then the course being run by Dr Key on Wednesday 20th June, from 10am to 3.30pm is ideal for you.  More details and to book your place, go to the Events page.

We missed 'Charlotte' last year but she was spotted recently scurrying away with her egg case.  Pisaura mirabilis is the Nursery Web Spider.  She will build a dome shaped web nest for her spiderlings to keep them safe.

Pisaura mirabilis

Another spider that always fascinates me, is the Cucumber Spider, green with a red bottom.  This one was quite well camouflaged.

Cucumber Spider

Down to six legs, from eight, this green beetle sat still for a photograph.  This is the Common Malachite Beetle that feeds on pollen.    

Beetle

Cuckoo flowers have been checked regularly for Orange Tip Butterfly eggs, then caterpillars and it is amazing once you get you eye in as to how many plants actually have a small caterpillar.  These butterflies also use Jack-by the Hedge to lay their eggs.  I found one on a plant and was showing it to other volunteers.  With serious study we found six caterpillars on the single plant.  Discussion followed as to how the butterfly knows that the plant can support more than one caterpillar.

Counting caterpillars

This is the caterpillar we were finding.

Orange Tip Butterfly caterpillar


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