Monday, 9 June 2014

Nightjars, Woodcock and a Glow Worm

Straw Conch, Cochylimorpha straminea
Last night I was able to add three new species to my list of really interesting creatures seen in the UK. I met Neil Hulme at Rewell Wood at 9pm and we wandered around the public footpaths in search of Nightjars. On route we saw Woodcock flying and I photographed 3 moths before the light faded: Dark Strawberry Tortrix, Hook-marked Straw Moth and Straw Conch. Eventually around 9:45, with the light fading fast, we heard our first male Nightjar calling, an unmistakeable churring sound. We were able to get pretty close to three males and a female, and see some in flight. At the end of the trip Neil spotted a Glow Worm shining bright, an adult female which shines continuously, unlike the male of this unusual beetle.

We saw Glowworms in New Zealand many years ago in Waitomo Caves on North Island where you take a boat trip through the caves and the Glowworms light up the ceiling like the Milky Way. Those ones are the luminescent larva of a Fungus Gnat (Arachnocampa luminosa). We saw them again at the Hokitika Glowworm Dell on  the West Coast of South Island.
Dark Strawberry Tortrix, Celypha lacunana
Hook-marked Straw Moth, Agapeta hamana
Straw Conch, Cochylimorpha straminea
adult female Glow-worm, Lampyris noctiluca 
The final two segments glow from the underside
adult female Glow-worm, Lampyris noctiluca

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