Monday, 26 August 2013

Birch sawfly caterpillar

A very handsome caterpillar which feeds on Birch leaves in the summer. I'm going to keep an eye out for the actual sawfly which is apparently quite large and has yellow antennae and a white stripe across it's abdomen. They're not particularly common though so I may have trouble. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Metallic beetle

I found this splendid beetle in the grass. It was quite large, about 2cm long, and its shiny body had a warm coppery sheen. My indispensable Collins guide to Insects tells me that it is a Calosoma inquisitor (I think). And they like to live in oak woods where they 
feed on caterpillars.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


You can never have enough crickets, especially if they're spotted.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Burnet Moth

The wonderful bright Burnet Moths are out on the thistles now. They are great to watch as they let you get really close without flying away. This looks like a six spot variety, rather than a five. But they are hard to tell apart as sometimes the spots are stuck together. 

And I found, just lying in the grass, a collection of egg cases from some insect. They had fallen off the underside of a leaf but were still stuck to each other. So regular and beautiful. If you look closely at the top left ones you can see they have an iridescent interior. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


It's holiday season, everyone is out on the shore basking.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Swallow-tailed moth

I love moths, there are so many and their variety is astonishing. They have entertainingly eccentric names, for example the Sandy Carpet, the Glaucous Shears or the Cream-spot Tiger. There were a pair of striking Swallow-tailed moths on the front door this morning. Apparently they are very common throughout the UK from June to August. This species particularly likes ivy.