Friday 24 May 2019

Black and Brown Hairstreak larvae at Ditchling Common

Brown Hairstreak larva, Thecla betulae
Yesterday I visited Ditchling Common to attempt to find Hairstreak larvae and pupae. I found a Brown Hairstreak larva (8mm) on blackthorn, munching on the new growth at the tip of a branch. It started moving down the branch and when I returned later it was nowhere to be seen. I met Ben Greenaway on a similar hunt and he showed me a Black Hairstreak larva he had previously found. David Cook directed us to the Black Hairstreak pupa he had located on a branch and then Ben found another on a nearby leaf. There were numerous moth larvae on the blackthorn and oaks and I have six which I cannot as yet identify. I also spotted a Plum Tortrix moth (Hedya pruniana) and a Mottled Umber larva (Erannis defoliaria). In the nettles by the car park were numerous Red and black Froghoppers.
Black Hairstreak larva, Satyrium pruni
prepupal stage with damage

Black Hairstreak larva

Black Hairstreak pupa on branch, Satyrium pruni

Black Hairstreak pupa on leaf

Brown Hairstreak larva, Thecla betulae, 8mm

Cucumber Green Spider, Araniella species

False Oil Beetle female, Oedemera nobilis

unidentified moth larva on blackthorn

unidentified moth larva on blackthorn

unidentified moth larva on blackthorn

unidentified moth larva on blackthorn

unidentified moth larva on oak leaf

unidentified moth larva on blackthorn

unidentified moth larva on blackthorn

unidentified moth pupa? on blackthorn

Mottled Umber larva, Erannis defoliaria on blackthorn

Mottled Umber larva

Plum Tortrix, Hedya pruniana

Red-and-black Froghoppers, Cercopis vulnerata

Soldier beetle, Malthodes species

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Damselflies at Highdown Gardens

Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Yesterday we had a walk round Highdown Gardens which is always lovely, especially at this time of the year. It has a wonderful variety of garden habitats with a worldwide collection of flowering trees and plants. My favourite spot is the pond which had plenty of damselflies, with many mating pairs - Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies.
  Last week we had a Nut-Tree Tussock moth (Colocasia coryli) on our balcony and yesterday two pugs: a Channel Islands Pug (Eupithecia ultimaria) and a Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata).
Common Blue Damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum

Large Red Damselflies mating, Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Nut-Tree Tussock, Colocasia coryli

Nut-Tree Tussock

Channel Islands Pug, Eupithecia ultimaria

Common Pug, Eupithecia vulgata

Bronze Age Ring Money and a Derbyshire visit

On Thursday I attended a dig near Whitchurch, Hants and was delighted to find a rare artefact, a piece of Late Bronze Age gold 'Ring Money' weighing 3.88g, 14mm outer diameter. This will go through the Treasure Process with my FLO (Finds Liaison Officer). Their use is unknown and debated, they may have been used as currency or jewelry or both - see 

I also found a gilt Georgian watch winder (18th C).
Georgian watch winder
I then drove to Buxton to attend a dig in Derbyshire. While there I visited the Buxton museum to attend an exhibition of Hoards found in Britain, a fascinating experience. I took photos of the exhibits: I also visited Aunt Bea and we had a lovely Italian meal at a local restaurant. The metal detecting was disappointing so I came home early and attended a local dig and found a Roman grot (grotty copper coin).
Derbyshire views:

I think this is a Light Knot Grass larva (Acronicta menyanthidis). I found it on a dry stone wall.
Field Pansy, Viola arvensis in Sussex

Monday 20 May 2019

Dukes, Dingies & Blues at Kithurst meadow

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
On Wednesday I visited Kithurst meadow and met Mark, Katrina, Mavis & Alan and others to view the emerging Duke of Burgundy butterflies. Others seen: mating Dingy Skippers, mating Common Blues, Green-veined White, Holly Blues, Green Hairstreaks, Brimstone, Brown Argus. Moths: Common Carpet, Dark Strawberry Tortrix plus a Rove beetle (Aleochara lanuginosa), and a 14-spot Ladybird.
14-spot Ladybird, Propylea 14-punctata

Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni

Brown Argus, Aricia agestis

Common Blues mating, Polyommatus icarus

Common Carpet, Epirrhoe alternata

Cowslip, Primula veris

Dark Strawberry Tortrix, Celypha lacunana

Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages

Dingy Skippers mating

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina

Duke of Burgundy

Duke of Burgundy

Green Hairstreak, Callophrys rubi

Green-veined White, Pieris napi

Holly Blue, Celastrina argiolus

Rove beetle, Aleochara lanuginosa