Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Beetles and smelly fields forever

Woke up this morning to a very thick fog, 15 minutes later and it was gone. Checked the moth trap and there were 56 moths of 18 species in it together with a Common Wasp, 2 Carrion Beetles  Nicrophorus investigator 

The Carrion Beetle Nicrophorus investigator 

and a Hoverfly Platycheirus clypeatus

 Hoverfly Platycheirus clypeatus in the trap

My first Red-green Carpet of the year was the best of the moths present

Red-Green Carpet

The Carrion Beetle is a fascinating thing and both those in the trap, as usual, were carrying a few insects themselves, mites. The beetle ignores its passengers because basically the mites eat fly eggs and their larvae, aka maggots. Now Flies are competitors to Carrion Beetle because they can get to dead thing quicker (they can fly after all)  and will strip the dead animal before the beetle to it.  So the Carrion Beetle puts up with these little hanger's-on because its to their advantage. Mother nature and symbiosis strikes again.

A Red Admiral and a Small White in the garden together with my first Buff-tailed Bumblebee for a while  and a Speckled Wood in the woods once the sun got out.  I was not out on the fell for long at all and just managed to see 2 Grey Wagtail flying over and a family party of 6 Swallows on the wires, before the really horrid smell from whatever had been put on the adjacent fields drove me back. It really was very bad today and not for the first time this year. I could even smell it in the town centre later.

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