Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Insect

On Monday, when we returned from our walk, I discovered a rather fascinating insect on the garden fence, soaking up the sun. Obviously a Crane fly or Daddy-long-legs, it had a striking, black and yellow pattern on it's thorax.
It is, in fact, a Spotted Crane fly (Nephrotoma appendiculata). With a 2 inch wingspan, it is a fairly large member of the Crane fly family and is distributed almost all over Europe and fairly common. But, it was a new one on me.
Back to the plants - and the Great Burdocks (Arctium lappa) are starting to grow to their full size along the pathways of Shipley Park. The leaves are huge in comparison to those of it's neighbouring plant species. At about 2ft long by 1ft wide, they make an imposing sight, even before the rest of the plant starts to head sky-ward.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a plant which stumped me. It was just beginning to show a flower head and from that it was clear that it was a member of the Cabbage or Crucifer family, but that was as far as I got in identifying it. Now, it has grown a lot more and the flowers have started open further, it has been possible to identify it as a Whitlowgrass but which one, is still up for debate. I'll get back to you when I have made a positive ID.
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