Small Wonder

x3 images. Double click to enlarge. Another dedicated mother looking after her eggs. This is the Cream-backed Comb-footed Spider (Neottiura bimaculata), which was a new species for me this year, discovered in the back garden. Only a small one with a body length of around 3 mm (1/8 in). The female carries her egg-sac attached to… Read More Small Wonder

The Unknown

I came across this green, wavering cushion which is around 25 mm (1 in) in diameter in my birdbath. The water is crystal clear, but here was this thing quite happily growing there. I don’t know what it is. It might be an alga of some kind, or it could be be something from outer… Read More The Unknown

Netted Slug

Gardeners probably won’t like this one. The Netted Slug (Deroceras (Deroceras) reticulatum) is very much hated as a pest as it eats the leaves of many various plants and crops, including seedlings. It also goes by the names as the Field Slug or Grey Field Slug.

Pergamasus

x3 images. Double click to enlarge. I just really like some names of species (or in this case the genus) so I used it as the title for this post. Pergamasus are verocious predatory mites of soil and leaf-litter. And unfortunately not much more info is forthcoming. Here are three individuals I discovered .. yep,… Read More Pergamasus

Spotlight on The Grey Dagger Acronicta psi 

There are two very similar ‘dagger’ species in Britain, the Grey Dagger (Acronicta psi) and the Dark Dagger (Acronicta tridens). The adults cannot be accurately identified visually without genital dissection and microscopic scrutiny – but I don’t like to harm them so this adult would be recorded as an aggregate species Acronicta psi/tridens. The adult is readily… Read More Spotlight on The Grey Dagger Acronicta psi 

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  

Lunar Underwing

Omphaloscelis lunosa – There is a dark ‘crescent moon’ marking on the pale underwing of this moth which gives it its name. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 23rd, 24th & 30th September 2017 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire  

Barred Sallow

Tiliacea aurago – Although this is somewhat faded, it is quite an attractive moth with autumnal colours and a very diagnostic yellow or yellow-orange central band. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 15th October 2017 Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire  

Heather Knot-horn

Pempelia palumbella – This is another rarity for my county, and only a few have been noted by the Staffordshire Ecological Record, most of these before 1995, the first in 1877. I really like the colours and patterns on this moth. It kind of reminds me of Inca art and design. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera… Read More Heather Knot-horn

Small Emerald

Hemistola chrysoprasaria – This is rarely seen in my county, and there has only been but a handful of ecologically recorded sightings since the first one in 1967, this one being one of them. A beautiful green moth with distinctive pale crosslines. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 8th July 2017 Place:… Read More Small Emerald

Honeysuckle Moth

Ypsolopha dentella – If you grow honeysuckle in your garden the chances are you may have some of these. This is a chestnut-brown and cream to whitish patterned micro-moth with distinctive upturned wingtips. It has a forewing length of around 11mm ( almost half an inch). Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken:… Read More Honeysuckle Moth

Long-horned Flat-body

Carcina quercana – This is a fairly colourful moth with very long antennae. Is also called the Oak Long-horn. It has recently been introduced to North America where it is called the Oak-skeletonizer Moth. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 8th July 2017Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire Want to learn more… Read More Long-horned Flat-body

Mint Moth

Pyrausta aurata – Also called the Small Purple & Gold, this moth has always been a regular visitor to my garden, yet I have always grown mint, so that is not really very surprising. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 20th July 2017 Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire  

Elephant Hawk-moth

Deilephila elpenor – This hawk-moth always reminds me of a fond time during my boyhood when my brother and I discovered the caterpillar for this moth, and subsequently watched it pupate and turn into this magnificent adult. Hawk-moths can be quite docile creatures in the daytime, and they will let you handle them readily, and… Read More Elephant Hawk-moth

Lime Hawk-moth

Mimas tiliae – This is a large and impressive hawk-moth with scalloped-edged forewings and olive-green and pinkish markings. The central dark forewing markings may be variable, and in some individuals may be joined to form a cross-band. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon Coolpix P500 Date taken: 26th June 2013 Place: Attracted to moth trap,… Read More Lime Hawk-moth

Skin Moth

Monopis laevigella  – A tiny micro-moth with a forewing length of between 5-10mm (1/4-3/8in). The wings have a purple sheen peppered with pale scales and a pale blotch just off centre on the forewing. The larvae feed on animal foodstuffs like bird’s nests, owl pellets and dead animal carcasses. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon… Read More Skin Moth

Green Long-horn

Adela reaumurella – This is the male with his extraordinary long white antennae, which are three times the length of the forewing. The adult flies in May and June, and in the daytime, where they may swarm. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D3200 Date taken: 4th May 2015 Place: Local wood, Staffordshire  

Autumn Hydrangea

Another one from last autumn. I love how the colour of the flowers of Hydrangeas change with the seasons. Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 12th October 2019 Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire  

Small And Mighty

Stump Puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme) There appeared to be hundreds of these tiny balls swarming over a mound of earth near the river. They are apparently feeding off a buried stump, and are usually seen in large numbers. October 2019. Nikon D7200 © Pete Hillman.

Spectacular Rustgill

Of x3 photos. Spectacular Rustgill (Gymnopilus junonius), as it says in the title, and you can see why by its  vivid colour. There was quite a cluster growing out of a rotting tree stump in the local wood. October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Beautiful In Pink

I believe this is Rosy Bonnet (Mycena rosea), very closed related to Mycena Pura, and in fact they may well be one and the same species. I spotted this beautful pair in the local wood this morning as I went on my first mushroom hunt of the season. Muddy knees indeed! October 2019 © Pete… Read More Beautiful In Pink