Monday, 1 August 2011

An update

The garden has been full of butterflies recently - red admirals, peacocks, small tortoiseshells, commas, speckled woods, gatekeepers, whites and blues.

Peacock butterfly.

I spoke too soon about there being no dragonflies emerging this year. We've had about 30 hawkers emerge in the last couple of weeks, but it has still been a terrible year for chasers and it's been months since we had any damselflies in the garden. Some of the exuviae are larger than others, but I'm not sure if that's a male/female thing or if more than one species has emerged. Unfortunately the recommended book for identifying UK exuviae (Field Guide to the Larvae and Exuviae of British Dragonflies) is unavailable on either amazon or abe books.

This female southern hawker emerged on Friday morning, but didn't leave her perch until Sunday lunchtime


It was dry and warm the entire time so I'm not sure what took her so long, but at least she made it in the end.

I haven't dipped either of the ponds for several weeks so will have a go this week to see what else I can find.

I found two larvae of the orange ladybird, a new species for Frog End, on the underside of some hawthorn leaves.

3 comments:

GB said...

By my standards the Peacock is a truly beautiful creature.

Scriptor Senex said...

I assume you know Vol 2 (Damselflies) of Field Guide to the Larvae and Exuviae of British Dragonflies is ione the BDS website. If you haven't got it yet I'd grab it now before it too disappears...

My moderation letters - quides! How brilliant is that?

Randy Emmitt said...

Helen,

Nice to have lots of butterflies in the garden. Our garden has less this year than usual, bad drought. Just did a butterfly count, it was above average for the past 12 years go figure.