Friday, 1 June 2018

Summer Insects on Arthur's Seat

Today I went to an excellent training session lead by Buglife about Lacewings and their allies. It was full of interesting facts such as that some lacewings will cover themselves in dead aphids and other things so that they can disguise their smell from ants and creep into ant nests to steal the aphids that ants like to harvest for the sweet honeydew that they produce.

At lunchtime I went for a walk round Holyrood Park which was at that time atmospherically misty





I found a nice rock to sit on for lunch and found myself surrounded by butterflies and moths, including this small copper butterfly

this small heath butterfly

and this cinnabar moth

which was most exciting as I've never seen the adult moth before though we regularly see ragwort plants covered in the caterpillars (photo from last August)
 


(see also this post).

In the afternoon we did an informal insect survey of part of Arthur's Seat

which brought in various beetles, sawflies, parasitic wasps, click beetles, pill woodlice and more moths including this carpet moth (possibly a silver ground carpet?) .



We even found some lacewings! One of which may have been the brown bordered lacewing that we were specifically searching for, which is very rare, the only recent record of it in Scotland was two years ago here on Arthur's Seat. The lacewing in question will need to be studied more closely to identify it to species level.

 It was also lovely to see more than 20 swifts flying about.

It was an excellent day's training and we even managed to avoid most of the rainstorm that followed on from the hot weather.





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