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Sunday, August 23, 2009

A new Moth: Iron Prominent, Notodonta dromedarius

The Iron Prominent, Notodonta dromedarius
is a Moth with two oval 'dentations', one on each forewing, right next to the thorax.
A nice Macro Moth, about 19-24mm
is an Southern example. And the pictures below show the darker form, the Iron Prominents flying in Northern parts.

I spotted this beautiful Moth, first when I heard a lot of 'buzzing' next to me, in the window. Nervous fluttering wings were busy trying to upright the Moth attached to the wings. The legs took to my fingertip immediately. The wings kept fluttering anxiously though, creating a strong vibration in my hand. A very intense sensation which is like how the buzzing of a Bumblebee would feel like.
It just kept walking about my hand, wings still fluttering. It was still nervous obviously.
Eventually I was able to get the Moth step onto the window sill, so that I could prepare a resting cave with a bit of food.
Iron Prominent, Notodonta dromedarius

Once it ended up on the window sill, still nervous, it was looking for a place to shelter and rest. The previous day I had used my bins to have a better look at what looked like a Ring Ouzel, and unlike me, I had failed to put it back into its cover and back onto my wheels.
Miss/Mister Prominent, looking for somewhere to rest
After trying to crawl into one of the tunnels of the bins, it started to crawl towards the camera. probably with the same intention.
After a little rest on my bins, instead of inside, (the wings settled down now. Finally)

Iron Prominent, Notodonta dromedarius

"That looks like a nice & warm little place..."(inside the lens)
Just before I could coax it back onto my finger, for a trip outside, with a container with a piece of melon, which I placed sheltered from the strong wind, underneath a plant in a pot. Of course it was faster than me, this time, and was interested in the cords of my potato and the cords of my mushroom storage bag.
And while all this was going on, a little Micro Moth started to get in the way. However I was unable to collect this one until the next morning when it was very willing to get onto my finger/hand, and be taken outside, where it flew off happily, almost immediately.

With a name like Notodonta dromedarius, one cannot help but wonder how this Moth ends up with being compared or named after a specie of Camel? It is a topic I still want to discuss in the UKMoths, yahoo group. So perhaps I can update you in due course. Unless one of you has any ideas.

Agriphila straminella

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Snail on the trapeze.

yep, my slippery invertebrates have signed up with the circus, and were practising for the audition. Or that is what this one told me anyway. Of course, I'm all for it; the less Snails & Slugs around the garden, the better. They often climb the central stem underneath the planter, which is a metal pole, which once supported a handrail, along the path, which came with the house, but very much in my way when turning around.
Once at the bottom of the raised planter, one must then work its way out to the edge, about 1ft out. Then about a similar trek upwards. And down again.
you must be mad. And for what? Surely not for a few fronds? Or are Snails breakfasting on Fennel seeds?

There are some more people with Fennels in their gardens, so have you seen similar behaviour? Or on any other Umbellifier of the Carrot family.

Banded Gardensnail:

Some kind of Fly,

And a newly emerged (green)Crane Fly, which I spotted on my kitchen cupboards above the sink, just when I was to go to bed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Female Fly fresh with blood

This Fly called in yesterday. One of those which suddenly show up on your table/desk and which don't really shy away from you.

The long ovipostrum tells me that it is a female. Her red pouch, on the abdomen, indicate a fresh feed, which I am happy to add, is not mine. To me it indicates she'd therefore be ready to lay eggs, because I think females only feed as they need this for laying eggs. Similar to a female mosquito, who (also) is the only one of the Mosquitoes which do bite.
yet this does not help me with identifying the Fly. Because of its red legs, I'm thinking Ichneumon; but perhaps it is a simple Mosquito?
I was glad that she had just fed on some other animal/human, because she was happy to walk onto my finger and walked about my hand while I operated the joystick of my wheels, to be put outside.

If you recognise the specie, or can ID it, please leave a comment.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Aglais urticae

Have seen very few of these critters. Compared to other years.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bordered Beauty, Epione repandaria.

Earlier I spotted a few very bright wings flutter underneath my table, belonging to this gorgeous Moth. Identification was very easy thanks to the large border at the bottom of both fore and hind wing. It is a female Bordered Beauty, Epione repandaria
how I'd love a macro lens to get some of the finer detail on this Moth, like the fine hairs on its antennae.

The Bordered Beauty Moth, (Epione repandaria), has a border on the bottom of its wings, which on the female's wings narrows together to a point at tip of forewing. ,
The male's markings are slightly different in that the dark band at the bottom does not narrow at the tip. The male Bordered Beauty Moth is also slightly smaller

female Bordered Beauty, Epione repandaria

Once I took it outside, it decided that it the ground would be the safest place. I had a hard job of removing it from there, so that I would not ride over it on my way to/fro the planter with bird food.

Unknown Micro Moth. Probably one of the many little Grass Moths. I haven't had time yet to search for its ID today. Hopefully I can discover more this next week(end) I was about to release this Micro when I spotted the Bordered Beauty. It had come inside the door, looking for a safe and sheltered place to get some rest.

It is our habit of leaving windows and doors opened slightly, so that we have a letterbox of fresh air coming into the room, which attracts the Moths as much as the lights indoors.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

2 Zebras Spiders

In May this year I spotted a very small spider walking on the wall, towards the light of the door. The nice thing with a digital camera is then that you can see much clearer the markings of these little creatures, once the pics are on the laptop.
On its abdomen it had markings which could have been embroidered. Or All sorts licorice.
At equal distance, it has three white lines over the abdomen, with a black line running through these over the length of the abdomen, from the Spider's body. Also, on closer inspection, it seems to have some kind of pincer shaped tentacles, up front.

I had been going through some of my photos of Spring Flowers, yesterday and had come upon pictures of Miss/Mister black&white as well. Thinking I should post about it, because I wanted an ID for it.

When outside in the garden wit my camera, something caught my eye, as it moved over the wall of the house. This is white pebble-dash, and very white when the Sun is out. Most of what I saw was that it was carrying a bit of leaf up front.

I was surprised to see that it had a similar pattern on its abdomen as the one I'd seen in May. Only difference was that this one, smaller as it was, had only two white lines. Would it get a third one in later life? Could it be that this was a juvenile? Or is the continuous white line in yesterday's Spider perhaps the indicator that these two are a similar specie? I think yesterday's was smaller than the one I saw in May.

Thanks to, fellow Irish blogger,Stuart Dunlop, of Donegal Wildlife, I am now able to put a name to this pretty little spider. It was a Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus. And if you click on the link, you'll see it close-up.

Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus , 26/05/09
(the black legs indicate it to be a male)

Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus no. 2, 04/08/09:
(Female, which has these dappled legs)

Edit: it is not a leaf which she is carrying, she has caught herself some green Insect. In that case, "Well done to the little bugger, prey is almost as big as the predator herself.!"

(Apparently, when these Spiders hunt, they jump and pounce their prey. What a pity I had just missed that moment with Spider no.2. As you can see in the cropped picture, she had just been on the hunt for a good big meal. )
Wonder how long this will last her?

Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus. no. 2, cropped: