Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Rainy Days

Don't you just love it when the weather takes a turn for the worst during insect season. Nothing much to do today except read and look at the computer. Or that's what I thought, had two visitors today through open windows which brightened up the day a bit.

 Epinotia immundana - ID'd for me by P. Parsons, this micro moth is a spring moth that is fairly common, with Alder it's main food-plant of which there is plenty in the allotments behind the house and at the end of the street, which leads on to an old railway line waste ground.
This species however is one for iRecord as I don't know the first thing about Caddis/Stone Flies. Looks more like a stonefly than a Caddis from illustrations to me. Again probably originates from the waste ground of the old railway line where small pools have formed either side of the old track stony base. It was pretty big at 30mm. It's surprising what a little bit of research can do, this is the Orange-striped Stonefly "Perlodes mortoni" which has recently been split from "Perlodes microcephalus" and is endemic to Britain. The form microcephalus is widespread throughout the northern hemisphere and mortoni is the British version. As they name suggests Stoneflies inhabit small pools with lots of stones, where they crawl out of the pools as adults and then bask on the stones ready for mating, then lay their eggs by dropping them while flying, back in the pools for their water nymphs to start the cycle again. I can see now why railway tracks and the adjacent pools are good habitat. There are 37 species of Stonefly in Britain. A lot of fisherman's "flies" are based on their design.

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