Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Mini Beasts

As usual, high Summer has produced a profusion of bug life. Our long walk this morning, was only spoiled by the annoying and sometimes painful attentions, of the Cleg Flies but I've noticed lots of mini beasts about recently. Some of these have turned up in our garden. Among the biggest and most impressive, is the larva of a Honeysuckle Sawfly which has made its home in our Pheasant-berry plants.
At about two inches long, it would make a tasty snack for any bird which found it, so it was staying well out of sight.
As we were looking out across Osborne's Pond yesterday, my eye was caught by a very strange-looking bug on a leaf. It wasn't moving, but as I touched the leaf, it raised itself up at one end in what looked to be a threat posture.
Orange/red, with black spots and strange, black and white, spiky appendages at one end, it was something new to me. So, after some searching online when we got home, I discovered that it was in fact the Pupal form of a Harlequin Ladybird, just waiting for the adult to burst forth.
On the chain-link fence around Shipley Lake, another little beast caught my eye the other day. Looking superficially like a small, brown moth, it turned out be a Long-horned Caddis fly. The name is rather self-explanatory as it has enormously long antennae.
The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has planted several areas of wildflowers around Shipley Park and near the visitor's centre, a large and extremely colourful meadow has been grown to provide seed for birds later in the year. Full of Cornflowers, Chicory and many other species, it was full of mini beasts this morning.
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