Sunday, October 25th 2015
Surprisingly some insects are easy to find in autumn. This Eyed Ladybird was spotted by a child from Hipswell School, trying to hide on the rail of a bridge across Risedale Beck. It was placed in a container for everyone to see and returned to its post. A casual glance as the next group went past and it was still there! So back in the container and examined and then back on the post! You could almost hear it saying 'I only want to find somewhere safe to hibernate in peace and quiet!'
On an earlier visit, a pond dipping group caught a Great Diving Beetle. Although they are often found in water they can fly. An unsuccessful trawl of web sites has not yielded any information about where the adults spend the winter. A guess would be that they dig into the silt in the pond. Pond Skaters hibernate in log piles, carefully tucking away their legs. A suspicion that the Great Diving Beetle may do the same. (Thank you to Neville for the photograph.)
There is still warmth in the sun and butterflies will take every opportunity to sunbathe and feed when they can. A Red Admiral thought the headlight on a car was an ideal place to receive the maximum amount of heat. It will hibernate in a cool place, the workshop, crevices in trees or in other buildings.
Many caterpillars will head for a suitable site in which to pupate over winter. A bright green caterpillar, thought to be a Poplar Hawkmoth, was found by Brian and Leanne. This caterpillar will pupate underground near the food plants, which include Aspen and willows. It will hatch out in May or July.
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