999 Species

I have now recorded 999 species on this website, from plants to animals, fungi and even a cyanobacterium. I have stopped short of making this post ‘1000’ as the 999th species convinced me to use it as a marker milestone. Not surprising it happens to be an invertebrate, an arthropod, and an insect at that.… Read More 999 Species

In Their World

Wolf Spider (Pardosa sp.) – This is a male sunning on a fallen branch on the riverbank. A peek into their world. Double-click to enlarge images. © Peter Hillman ♦ 10th April 2020 ♦ Local riverbank, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Growing Up

White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) juvenile – A new generation of snails are appearing in the garden, ready to munch their way through it. This little one has such a delicate and elegant looking shell. Double-click to enlarge image. © Peter Hillman ♦ 12th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Cuckooflower

Cardamine pratensis – Also called Lady’s-smock. When I first eyed this lovely flower on my allowed ‘once a day’ excercise walk, it took my breath clean away, I was so bedazzled by its beauty. This is a sure sign that spring has arrived. x2 photographs. Double click images to enlarge. © Peter Hillman ♦ 10th… Read More Cuckooflower

A Rare Male

Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia) – I see the female plenty of times around the garden, but hardly ever the male. This one must have been real hungry perched on the edge of a petal trying to grab passing flies. © Peter Hillman ♦ 20th May 2018 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

The Odd

Orchesella cincta – This is another one of those tiny springtails I go on about in the odd post. I can’t help it, but I find them fascinating. This one has a nice yellow band around its third abdominal segment, and, quite unfortunately, one missing antenna. It’s amazing to think you have a whole little… Read More The Odd

Morning Yoga

Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus) – This one like to chill in the morning sun. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 24th March 2020 ♦ Back garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Brindled Pug

Eupithecia abbreviata – This attractive moth must have been bedazzled by my garage light and I found it on the door the next morning. Like most pugs they are only small with a wingspan of around 22mm (7/8in). It is an early spring species, and usually inhabits deciduous woodland where the caterpillars feed on oak… Read More Brindled Pug

Heart & Dart

Agrotis exclamationis – You can clearly see why they call this moth the Heart & Dart. Double-click for a closer look-see. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 29th June 2019Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire

Codling Moth

Cydia pomonella – Although the caterpillar of this small moth can be quite a pest to fruit trees, the adult has quite some fine detail over all, and a lovely coppery finish to the bottom end of the forewings. Double-click for a closer look. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 29th June 2019Place: Attracted… Read More Codling Moth

Malthinus flaveolus

This is one small and pretty beetle at 4.5-5.5mm (1/8-1/4in) long and is difficult to find in the field. This one was attracted to my moth trap. Double-click for a closer look. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 29th June 2019Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire

Willow Ermine

Yponomeuta rorrella – These small moths can be a fair challenge to photograph because of their pale and reflective scales, so best done out of direct sunlight with the exposure turned down a couple of clicks. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 18th July 2019Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire

Diamond-back Moth

Plutella xylostella – A very common micro-moth with a fairly distinct diamond pattern on its … well – its back. Double-click on images to get closer. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 6th July 2019Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire

Wainscot Smudge

Ypsolopha scabrella – Quite an extraordinary looking little moth with distinctive raised tufts which can be seen when the moth is at rest. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 20th July 2017 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire  

White Campion

Silene latifolia – This is one of my favourite wild flowers, and it is always a pleasure to see on my walks. According to fossil records it was introduced to Britain during the Bronze Age. It flowers between May and October across much of Britain, except the far north and west. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera… Read More White Campion

Garden Rose Tortrix

Acleris variegana – An extremely variable micro-moth species in patterning and colouration. A melanic form also occurs. Like other similar species of Tortrix, it mimics bird-droppings to evade predation. The larvae feed on the leaves of a variety of trees and shrubs, including roses, brambles, hawthorns, cherries and apples. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon… Read More Garden Rose Tortrix

Old Lady

Mormo maura – You know when this one pays a visit because it is fairly large with a wingspan of up to 65mm (2 1/2in). Not one of the brightest of moths, but it has an interesting, fine-lined pattern. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 26th August 2017 Place: Attracted to moth… Read More Old Lady

Ash-bark Knot-horn

Euzophera pinguis – Quite an unmistakable micro-moth with distinctive zig-zag markings. The larvae feed under the living bark of ash, which if becoming infested may kill the tree. This is a localised species in England. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 20th July 2017 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire… Read More Ash-bark Knot-horn

Common Plume

Emmelina monodactyla – An odd-looking moth which often rests with its wings rolled tightly up. It is quite a weak flier, and will only travel a short distance before settling down again. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 8th July 2017 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire  

Iron Prominent

Notodonta dromedarius – A moth which looks like it is suffering from oxidation with its distinct red rusty markings. One of the easier of the night lepidoptera to photograph. They are fairly calm and will remain still for a long time. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 20th July 2017 Place: Attracted… Read More Iron Prominent

The Drinker

Euthrix potatoria – An unusual moth. This is the female of the species. The name comes from the habit of the caterpillar which apparently has a preference for drinking drops of dew. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 Date taken: 26th June 2011 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire  

Maiden’s Blush

Cyclophora punctaria – A finely detailed and beautifully coloured moth from the family Geometridae. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 20th July 2017 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire