Thursday, October 10, 2013

What a carry on...

Seems hard to believe that we are already at the second week of October-where is this year going? Already the fungi are starting to pop their heads up from the forest floor as the season gets underway...



I chose this image first as I thought it might grab your attention? I don't know the correct mycological name for this species; if encouraged I daresay I could come up with a common name of my own, but I reckon that it would have more in common with a 'Carry On' innuendo than anything remotely sensible!






I do know that these pictured above are 'Amanita muscria' the infamous Fly Agaric fungi. These scarlet topped mushrooms are coloured red for a reason, as in the animal world, red signifies danger and to eat from these is to risk hospitalisation.

I have lots more fungi shots but think I might save them for a dedicated entry as there's not mushr.......no! Can't do the joke...


I want to share what I think is a wonderful late season find of a beautiful shieldbug...




This is the fabulous Blue Shieldbug (Zicrona caerulea) the metallic blue sheen makes this little bug easy to identify. It is one however that I rarely see, in fact I think this is only my second find of one in years of looking.


Moving on, I came across a couple of more unusual ladybirds the other day, the 10-spot (Adalia decempunctata) is a little less common than the 7-spot and is also a lot harder to identify correctly, so let's hope I have got it right here...



'Rhyzobius litura' is a tiny ladybird that is not often seen, and even less recognised as a ladybird when it is discovered. It is one of the few ladybirds that have long antennae, hence most folks seem to dismiss it as merely a commonplace beetle, rather than coccinellidae.

Usually found from spring to late autumn and often in dry places-this one was in long, dry grasses in an uncut meadow...




Another nice find was of a ground beetle 'Dromius quadrimaculatus' a nicely marked small beetle of about 7mm length...




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I still haven't managed to solve the mystery of just what that strange,white structure from my last update was. I think perhaps my friend ,Maria who suggested it may be a seed could be on the right track but, I am just not sure yet. What I can say is that, amazingly, I found another example-they are so small that I didn't ever imagine I would spy another but here it is...


If it helps at all, I can add that this one was not on the ground but underneath a living willow leaf still on the tree.It was also firmly adhered to the leaf somehow.


Back to the bugs then...



This is the larva of the dot moth (Melanchra persicariae) these will feed on a wide range of wild plants and I have found them on both bramble (incidentally, that one was the brown version of the larva) and also on nettle.



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My moth trap diaries have suffered of late from a lack of anything interesting to add-I have been running it but have had few moths other than the usual suspects.
An exception has been the one in the photograph below...






This is the Barred Sallow (Xanthia aurago) a lovely moth delicately tinted with yellows and pinks.

A shot taken in a more natural setting...




You might also be interested in this huge,female vapourer moth...



These huge bulbous females are flightless, those dog-like ears just above the second pair of legs in the photo, are actually vestigial wings and so there is no chance of these getting off the ground. They will attract a male within a very short time of emerging, then lay their eggs that overwinter before emerging in spring. Once the eggs have been laid the female's job is done, she doesn't feed and so her life is very short.

I checked the next day where this female had been and this is what I found...




I guess even though I haven't managed to resolve the last mystery object, I should add another to this entry?

Well this might be a tad easier-aside that is from my poor skills with the camera meaning less detail than I would have hoped for. I had to crop this heavily as it was taken at only 1:1 and I suppose was around the size of a small springtail, so about 2mm?


It was found in long grasses and I am wondering if it's a very early nabidae instar/nymph? What do you think?

Until the next time then...



2 comments:

  1. Well, what can I say... nothing!! So skipping the first one...

    Another brilliant blog with superb shots! The Blue shieldbug's a stunner!! Not seen many this year more's the pity. Gorgeous shots you've taken (as usual), would make a lovely badge (hint! hint!!)

    As for the mystery larva; don't think it's a Nabidae, not even sure if it's Heteropteran... will try to find out what it though!

    Off home now so will come back soon! ;-)

    Maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apologies Maria...didn't mean to embarrass you.

      Thank-you for your compliments on my photos again. Watch this space is all I can say :-) Hmm.. that's interesting that you feel it may not even be Heteroptera? Hadn't considered anything else...intriguing, do let me know if you make any headway?

      Delete

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