Monday, October 21, 2013

Fund raising...

I wouldn't normally do this but I want to hijack my own blog entry for the purposes of blatant  and shameless self promotion!
Before you think I have lost the plot though, can I add that it is all in the cause of raising some much needed funds for medical research.

I have produced some posters to try and raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society. Alzheimer's and Dementia affect a huge proportion of our population and need our support. Recent developments in attempting to halt the degeneration of brain cells are promising, but more research is needed and that requires funding.
If you think you can help, please head over to my FOR SALE PAGE for full details...





On with my late October update to the blog then...

I will start with another photo of a caterpillar that I featured a couple of entries ago, the looper, that I now know to be the larva of an early thorn moth...


Firstly, what a great pose? But anyway, the reason I have added this is because I have been reading a little more about these creatures and it seems that being considered to be the best twig mimic of all, is not the whole story.

No, research now shows that they don't just rely on looking like a twig. Apparently the disguise works best where twigs are common, it seems to fool most birds more often and so during the day they will position themselves where there are lots of natural twigs, even if it means missing out on feeding.
They then move to the leaves under cover of night, where they then feed in relative safety.

It also seems to work best if the position themselves where there aren't too many others caterpillars doing the same thing as the birds do see the larvae but don't seem to find the extra effort involved in determining whether or not it is actually food worthwhile but if there are rich pickings to be had, they will then persevere.


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I was out recently on a rather dull day after rain and the flash was causing me all kinds of problems with water reflection and so decided to opt for natural light on these next pictures...




I think this large wasp is probably an Ichneumon and possibly Coelichneumon sp? There are several similar and so I can't be sure.
Not how most folks imagine a wasp to look but wasp it is.

Another surprise on this dull day was how many crickets were around on the low vegetation. I counted up to twenty of the species pictured here and then gave up, there were lots more, both male and female...


Roesel's Bush Cricket (male)

Incidentally, if you are wondering why Roesel's ? It was named after a German entomologist. I think we in the south east corner of the U.K. were the first to see this species and today the most prolific population is still to be found here, although it has spread north at quite a rate in recent years and can now be found in many other areas.


I also found this cool little leafhopper whilst out wandering the local countryside, I think this might be Idiocerus vittifrons but they are extremely difficult to tell apart...





The same goes regarding being confident over identity of this plant bug as well. I wouldn't want to go further than suggest Lygus species...







Green shieldbugs are still evident as both adults and the occasional nymph, although I have yet to find any in their winter coats (brown.)


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Spiders then! I just love these little jumping spiders, they are such characters and quite feisty. They have great vision with those two large front eyes and if you take a close look at them, you will often see them turning to get a better view of you as you do so...





This one has me stumped for now regards a confirmed identity but it was very small at no more than around 2mm and has those white palps. It is a female but that's all I can say at present.






The spider photo above shows Araneus diadematus, the garden, or cross spider that is most often seen at this time of year but below is a variation, Araneus quadratus. Araneus being Latin for spider and quadratus meaning square, referring to the four prominent spots on the abdomen...





The background can be quite variable in colour ranging from orange-red to light yellow-green. This coloration can change, perhaps responding to humidity levels (greenish if moist, tending towards red if drier). 


Besides the omnipresent spiders, I am still finding tortoise bugs locally...




Of course sometimes when the weather is really bad and there are few bugs to be found anywhere, the unexpected still turns up. That's what happened the other day when it rained hard and I didn't even bother taking the camera when I went out. In fact, I didn't need to this day-the next photo was taken through the patio window...




That's right, a slug! Well on bad weather days you have to take advantage of whatever is offered right?


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Back in the summer (by the way, this is leading into another of those, what's happening here pictures)...I saw something spilling from what I think may have been a fleabane flower, anyhow, a bright yellow daisy-like flower and this is the photograph...





And so this is my question-is this nectar? If so....why did if feel solid/hard to the touch? It was quite hard.

I'll leave you with that thought until the next time....

Thanks in advance to anyone who feels they can help with my fund raising posters.








4 comments:

  1. Blimey!! Slow down with the mysteries will you!!! I haven't yet deciphered the last two! Lol!
    Fascinating that the 'froth' is hard to the touch... I reckon it's some sort of Invert's work! Needs further investigation.

    Another cracking blog and stunning pics too! I'm going to have to get looking for this blooming Tortoise bug when I'm next in Kent!! Don't see why you should have them all! ;-)

    Reckon the Lygus is most likely L. rugulipennis. That's all I'm finding here!

    Love the slug! :-)

    M

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your continued interest Maria. You are thinking along the same lines a me regards the 'froth'

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  2. Outstanding macro images,loved every shot.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you John, appreciate you taking time to comment in such an enthusiastic manner.

      Delete

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