Thursday, 7 October 2010

Insects, Rockroses & Titmice

Not much in the trap overnight with 9 moths of 5 species, those being Blair's Shoulder-knot (4), Setaceous Hebrew Character (2), Spruce Carpet (1), Red-green Carpet (1) and Yellow-line Quaker (1). I thought it might be a little better but the 7C temperature seemed cooler with the northerly wind. Also in the trap were two specimens of Britain's largest Caddis Fly (Phryganea grandis).

The Caddis Fly (Phryganea grandis)

Two Speckled Wood on the Ivy near the house but it looks like it could be next year before I get this butterfly as a garden 'tick'. All Ladybirds hibernate as adults and when I was collecting some late seed in the garden for a seed exchange,  I found  several Seven-spot  Ladybirds already hibernating in the spent seed pods of one of the Cistus as well as well over a dozen Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia). They were in one of the Gum Rockrose (Cistus ladanifer) which is a very sticky and insects usually avoid it. Presumably because of this and that the seed pods are very hard, they make excellent hiding places for invertebrates. I have noted both Blue Tit and Great Tit searching these plants in the garden during the window but never suspected that they held anything of real interest to them. But in fact a whole paper has been written about them Blue Tits exploiting Gum Cistus capsules as sources of arnthropod food. 

7-spot Ladybird
The winter corvid roost is starting to attract numbers now with 120 Jackdaw and 35 Rook using it this evening.


  1. Do you get Caddis Flies in your trap very often?

  2. John,
    Certainly do - depending on time of year but I would say from Spring to Autumn nearly 50% of the time. I fairly regular get one species late spring that looks easy to id but have failed so far to do so. You don't by any chance know much about them do you?