18 April, 2015

Of Emperor Moths and Disappointment

I'd been looking forward to yesterday morning's course field trip to the Devil's Spittleful for ages. Lying just east of Bewdley and the Wyre Forest, the site comprises to a large extent of heathland, with smaller areas of dry grassland and deciduous woodland - perfect habitat for Emperor Moth!

Even though we were supposed to be looking into the practicalities of managing rabbits to maintain optimum sward height (or something), I'd brought along a hand net just in case and soon had everyone tapping away at the heather bushes in the hope that an Emperor Moth might fly out.

Much to everyone's disappointment (I may have slightly played up our chances of finding it), we didn't catch an Emperor, and to make matters worse the group didn't seem to cheer up when I pulled out what I thought was a wicked consolation prize in the form of a Trifurcula immundella moth larval mine on Broom.

I mean c'mon. Look at the way the caterpillar has worked its way straight down the stem! Now that IS a mine...

Trifurcula immundella - prooaahhh!

Cladonia portentosa

Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)


Ali said...

Hmmm, having released a mining bee earlier today I now think it was exactly this species. I'm sure it's not though and that species determination is very tricky... dammit

Billy Dykes said...

Yes, I had it IDed as haemorrhoa on iSpot, but it still doesn't look quite right...