For illustrated talks on natural history and history see www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

Friday, 18 June 2021

Elephant Hawk-moth in a West Sussex garden, 17 June 2021

 

Resting on a car tyre is an Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor, with a damaged wing after a day of torrential rain.


https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/elephant-hawk-moth  explains that this nocturnal moth usually rests on a foodplant, Honeysuckle and that the caterpillars eat Willowherb and Enchanters nightshade: all are common in my garden.

Willowherb clump and lots of Honeysuckle.

It is conceivable that this moth bred and grew up in my garden.  I must search for caterpillars this year. 




Thursday, 17 June 2021

Insects of Sussex on 15th June 2021 including a first Silver-washed Fritillary.

It was the sightings page at https://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/index.php which first encouraged me to visit this wood to see Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (PBF) some years ago, with success.

No PBFs on this day but Butterfly Conservation Sussex's Martin Kalaher has emailed to say..
"Congratulations regarding your Silver-washed Fritillary, which was a national first." 
Wow!
Neil Hulme, BEM had confirmed that "Peter Lovett's butterfly is a female Silver-washed Fritillary. The forewing shape is correct for SWF (concave below the apex; DGF is slightly convex), the upperside pattern shows two rows of spots inside the margin (DGF has one) and the characteristic SWF underside pattern can be seen."
I chased this butterfly across a clear felled chestnut forest for a while before getting some photo's including an underwing glimpse, confirming Silver-washed.


Other butterflies and moths included a Grizzled Skipper below,
 


lots and lots of Small heaths


a Common blue
Burnet moth
Possibly an Andrena sp. mining bee.... Andrena congruens???

Agonum sexpunctatum perhaps.

Silver Y moth above and below.


Native orchids of Sussex; Bee orchids, Frog orchids, Common-spotted orchids, Fragrant orchids on Tuesday 15 June 2021

 

When looking to photograph wildlife it helps to have good eyesight and a few friends.  Thus, at this site it was William who spotted this beautiful Bee orchid after I had walked past it.

Mike and Janice completed a quartet of naturalists keen to take time to enjoy and photograph the wonderful plants and animals on this warm June day.  The next few blog entries will show our findings; starting now with orchids.

Bee' and Common-spotted orchids.


And again it was William who spotted these, otherwise elusive, Frog orchids: one of which is a hybrid with Common-spotted orchid possibly, being pink and with whorls of colour on the lip.












Fragrant orchid just opening.  


Common-spotted and Frog orchids with Bird's-foot trefoil, "eggs and "bacon", a food plant for Common blue, Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper butterflies.








Subsequent posts will show some of the other plants and insects found this day. 
Click to expand pictures.

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