Down-looker Snipe-fly

This Down-looker Snipe-fly, Rhagio scolopacea, was keeping watch from a fence-post at the edge of the parkland alongside Top Park Wood, Nostell, in May last year. It habitually rests facing downwards and it will dart off on short flights, like a snipe. This was probably a male defending a territory as it waited for a female […]

Alderfly

If Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen was asked to design an aquatic insect, this is what he might come up with. The smoke-tinted wings of the alderfly are folded like a roof and supported by a tracery of veins, in the style of a Tiffany lamp. Despite these stylish wings they don’t venture far from the water’s edge. The […]

Artichoke Gall

These artichoke galls began to form earlier this summer when a female gall wasp Andricus fecundator laid a single egg in each of the terminal buds of this branch of a sessile oak. Artichoke galls are also known as larch-cone galls or hop galls. The larva develops protected by the overlapping scales. An adult female will […]

Vapourer Moth Caterpillar

The four cream ‘shaving brushes’ on the back of the Vapourer moth caterpillar, Orgyia antiqua, make it easy to identify and presumably make predators think twice about trying to eat it. This was nibbling away with three or four vapourer caterpillars on willow leaves by the woodland ride at Thorpe Marsh nature reserve. Larger numbers […]