A pretty visitor to the garden

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Garden Tiger (Artica caja)

A nice Garden Tiger (Artica caja) spotted this morning on the grass in the garden.
It’s a widespread moth, strikingly colored and patterned.
I’ve not seen the larval form on any of its likely food plants, so have no idea if there will be more appearing soon.

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Garden Tiger (Artica caja)

QMUL Canalside

Some recent photographs from the Regent’s Canal as it passes though the QMUL campus.

Chorthippus Parallelus - Meadow Grasshopper
Chorthippus Parallelus – Meadow Grasshopper

There were several of these grasshoppers chirping away, trying to find a mate. They were very approachable, not vanishing just as the shutter clicks. Common species, both male and female have short front wings and no hind wings.

Continue reading QMUL Canalside

Too Hardcore

I caught this Rosemary Beetle early today with the intention of CT scanning it for #CTguess & #xraystuffinmylab on Twitter, also because I’m genuinely interested in these beetles.

Consulting the literature, it seemed that nitrogen asphixiation & several hours in a freezer should painlessly euthanise the beetle, leaving it in good condition for scanning.

The one that got away
The one that got away

This little fellow, survived in 100% nitrogen for more than four hours at -10 C. It was still crawling around when I fished its testube from the freezer to scan it.

You’ve got to respect tenacity like that, so I let the beetle go free again. Too hardcore to kill.

A delayed update

A coupe of weekends ago I visited the Mayfield Lavender open weekend with Meagen, I meant to write about it at the time, but didn’t get around to it. No problem, Diamond Geezer also visited and wrote up the visit in more detail than I’d get around to here.

In the fields
In the fields

While there we helped collect Rosemary Beetles from the lavender plants, we got somewhere around 100 beetles in a glass jar.

 

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Rosemary Beetles (Chrysolina americana)

I also spotted a pair of Soldier beetles mating , and really wished I’d taken along a decent camera. It’s hard to do macro photography with a phone camera.

Common Red Soldier Beetle - Rhagonycha fulva maiting
Common Red Soldier Beetle – Rhagonycha fulva maiting