Monday, April 27, 2015

I've been searching in Comfort's Wood for Hazel...


Time to welcome back the leaf-roller weevils to our local woodland. As soon as the hazel leaves begin to appear, I start looking out for these fantastic creatures. With its brick red elytra you would think it would be easy to spot. But being only 6-8mm in length, when it is not moving, it can look just like a part of the tree or at least, a new bud. 

Apoderus coryli (A Hazel leaf-roller weevil)

Apoderus coryli (A Hazel leaf-roller weevil)

Apoderus coryli (A Hazel leaf-roller weevil)


Another bright little thing I found recently was this 22-spot ladybird. Probably the brightest of our yellow ladybirds and added to that, how many other native ladybirds have a 28 letter name? This one is even smaller than the weevil at about 3-4.5mm which is tiny compared to say, the common 7-spot at 5-8mm. Unusually, this one feeds on mildew rather than munching on aphids.

Psyllobora virgintiduopunctata (A 22-spot Ladybird)
Compare it with this next ladybird to get an idea of just how yellow the 22-spot is. But then you might expect it to be yellower than the one below as that one is actually called and orange ladybird, despite it having a yellow head and legs.

Halyzia 16-guttata (An Orange Ladybird)




Issus coleoptratus! There...I can even write that without having to refer to my reference books. Why can I remember the scientific name of this hopper? Because it occurs quite often locally and I have found it regularly over the years. I think this is at the mid-instar stage, so it'll have a bit of growing to do yet. There is only one other similar species, I.muscaeformis, but it is much rarer and not one that I have ever found...or.....have I? Maybe I wouldn't be able to tell the difference if I did spot one?

Issus coleoptratus (A Planthopper)

Issus coleoptratus (A Planthopper)



Whilst on the subject of small creatures, this spider is only about 5mm. This is a female. The males look totally different and don't have the pale legs & brightly coloured palps.

Heliophanus flavipes (A Jumping Spider)

Heliophanus flavipes (A Jumping Spider)

Returning to ladybirds for a moment; what do these next two have in common do you think? Well, although sadly the second one was in a bad way for some reason, they are both 10-spot ladybirds. Variations of the same species, and yet neither have 10 spots, confusing isn't it?






Hmmm..how can I link into the next photo? Oh! I know, ladybirds are sometimes called ladybugs and I have just started to see some real bugs. True bugs that is. C'mon...I tried...I had a go? Ahem...(presses on regardless)...this is the common flower bug. That is its name, it isn't necessarily a bug that frequents common flowers, although, it sometimes does. Ever feel as though your digging yourself into a hole? Here's the photograph... 

Anthocoris nemorum (A Common Flower Bug)
Just to confuse things further, this was not on a flower of any kind but a nettle. Now you're going to tell me that a nettle is a flower I suppose? Let's move on to a moth then...



This longhorn moth is just starting to appear in the wonderfully named Comfort's Wood close to where I live and there are usually good numbers in springtime. It's a male and I think is Adela reaumurella, but it might be A.rufimitrella as it's tricky to be certain from a photo. You can see how long the antennae are in the males, I couldn't even get it all in the frame here.






In the same woods I found a large white butterfly feeding on the wild flowers.I know these have featured in my recent updates too but it's always worth sharing photos of spring butterflies in my opinion...


Pieris brassicae A Large White Butterfly)

Pieris brassicae A Large White Butterfly)

I also had a chance to photograph one in the garden, early one morning...




Well that's about it for another update, I think this one is somewhere around update number 157 and I should be back with another fairly soon.

Until the next time...


6 comments:

  1. Stunning photos JJ, especially like the Ladybirds, still only a few sightings of Harlequins round here, did see my first Orange tip of the year at the park and over the weekend my first ever Bee-fly so small and cute :)
    Amanda xx

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    1. Wow! You were there commenting almost as soon as I'd posted Amanda, thanks...;-) Plenty of Harlequins here too but also more species than last year already. Pleased you saw an Orange-tip and yes, the Beeflies are smaller than you might imagine aren't they.

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  2. Replies
    1. Many thanks for your comment Ian...

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  3. Fascinating and beautiful JJ! Wonderfully detailed shots! Do love those leaf rollers. :-)

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    1. More great commenting! Thanks Maria ;-) Yes, me too, those weevils are amazing little creatures. Must try harder to get better pics of them actually leaf-rolling this year..

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