Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Flutterings

A stroll along the 'Farm Walk' this morning, revealed a plethora of winged creatures, as well as a few which have yet to grow their wings. The Ragwort flowers are in full bloom and it was on these that most of the insects were to be found. The first was a Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus). In fact, there were hundreds of them flitting about on the flowers this morning. Very common in the UK, they are extremely beneficial too. Their larvae are predators of aphids and the adults are prolific flower pollinators.
The next little flutterer was a Gatekeeper butterfly (Pyronia tithonus). Another common species, the name comes from them being frequenters of gaps and gateways in hedgerows. They spend much of their time (as this one was) with their wings spread, basking in the sunshine.
The third insect was found on the Ragwort once again. This one however, had not yet developed into a winged adult. This is the caterpillar of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae). The bright yellow and black striped colouration, indicates that it is very unpalatable to those creatures which might want to make a meal of it. The foul taste coming from alkaloids in the Ragwort plants on which they feed.
Finally, a buzzing thing which was very busy on the flowers of the Creeping Thistles. This Honey Bee was so busy, it didn't seem to notice me poking my camera lens into its affairs - or if it did, it didn't care too much!
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