Monday, 30 June 2014

Marbled Whites and a Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl, Strix aluco
On Thursday I was advised by Neil Hulme  that the Marbled Whites at Fairmile Bottom were worth a visit. While there Neil spotted a white form of the Bee Orchid. One Marbled White had been captured by a Crab Spider. These arachnids account for considerable butterfly predation. In one location recently one spider captured several specimens of an endangered butterfly which is in serious risk of extinction at the site. Marbled whites are one of the  hosts for the larvae of a red parasitic mite, Trombidium breei, which do not harm the butterfly. Two interesting articles about this:
Afterwards I visited Houghton Forest, where I found a Fungus Weevil and a Peacock larva. As I was returning to the car park I heard a Turtle Dove at 4:30pm. I entered the woods in search of it and came to a glade. A large brown bird then flew off from a tree and perched in an adjacent one. I was able to get some shots of a beautiful Tawny Owl. When it flew it seemed much larger than it really is (15 inches tall).
Bee Orchid, Ophrys apifera
Bee Orchid, white variety, Ophrys apifera

Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale
Garden Grass-veneer, Chrysoteuchia culmella
Heath Bedstraw, Galium saxatile
Large Skipper, Ochlodes sylvanus
female Marbled White, Melanargia galathea
male Marbled White
female Marbled White

Marbled White, Melanargia galathea with red mite larvae, Trombidium breei
captured by Crab Spider, Misumena vatia.
One leg has been cut off and can be seen near the top of the flower.

Pyramidal Orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis
Satin Grass-veneer, Crambus perlella f. warringtonellus
Short-winged Conehead, male, Conocephalus dorsalis
Wild rose, Rosa species
Houghton Forest:
Bird's-foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus
Creeping Cinquefoil, Potentilla reptans
Fungus weevil, Anthribus albinus

Peacock larva, Inachis io

Riband Wave, Idaea aversata ab. remutata
Ringlet, Aphantopus hyperantus
possible Small Buckthorn Roller, Ancylis obtusana
too worn for positive id
                                  the Small Buckthorn Roller has been recorded in nearby Rewell Wood

Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae

Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria
spider and prey
Tawny Owl, Strix aluco

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