Saturday, 4 June 2011

Longhorn

I have mentioned on several occasions, the wonderful, Longhorn Cattle which are to be found in the fields of Mapperley Village.  On our walk around Shipley Hill yesterday, a very different animal was to be found with the same name.  This creature was considerably smaller than the cattle and to be found creeping about on the stem of a Hogweed plant.  Say hello to the Longhorn Beetle...
To give it it's full, common name, it is actually a Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle.  It has an equally impressive scientific name of Agapanthia villosoviridescens and in these pictures a male and female pair were locked in a passionate embrace.  When ready, the female will lay her eggs in the stems of several plant species - including those of the Carrot family as with this Hogweed - where the lava will develop, pupate and finally leave via another hole eaten into the side of the stem.
Quite an impressive little beetle, it's antennae are particularly noteworthy and give the animal it's common name of Longhorn.
Close by the Longhorn beetles, a flowering plant also caught my eye as being something new to me.  It turned out to be a Long-stalked Crane's-bill or Geranium columbinum.  Small, but beautiful.
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