Saturday, 27 June 2015

Six-spot Burnets emerge on Chapel Green, Rocklands

The most favourable day for insects so far this year: a mostly sunny morning, with temperatures pulling above 22°C by midday. Over the last weeks or so, Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae caterpillars have been leaving off feeding on the Bird's Foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus to climb up the stems of taller grasses to pupate. Today there were several caterpillars, three pupae and the first adult of the year.

The Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra has just come into flower and, in addition to the burnets, there were single of several species of butterfly: Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola, Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Small Tortoishell Aglais urticae.

Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus

After seven spikes in 2014, the Bee Orchids are absent this year. However, a Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii - a new species for the green - compensates.

Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

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