Sunday, 5 July 2009

Miniature World

Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius )

Sometimes things other than moths turn up in the moth trap. If they are like this Common Froghopper that's OK but Wasps and Spiders can be a bit of a nuisance as the predate the moths. The Froghopper is an extremely common species in a wide range of plants across the UK, the larvae are the familiar producers of 'cuckoo-spit' in gardens. It is about 5mm long and is a prodigious jumper. It can jump 70cm in the air, and when it does it generates a G-force of over 500 gravities, 80 times that experienced by and astronaut.

Silver Barred (Deltote bankiana)

Some of the smaller moth are spectacular when looked at closely, this Silver Barred has a wingspan of about 22mm but is a Noctuid and therefore a "macro".

Evergestis limbata

Only a little smaller than the Silver Barred is this Pyralid, Evergestis limbata. A short time ago it was a major rarity, the first record in the UK was in 1993, but know they are frequent enough on the Kent Coast to suppose that there is at least a few breeding.

Homoeosoma sinuella

Pyralids are a relatively large family of moths, they are classified as "micros" despite the fact that several are larger than many of the pugs and other small geometers. At this time of year there are a lot of species of pyralid on the wing and they are several migrants that can occur.

Homoeosoma sinuella is another that I'm catching at the moment, it is a species often associated with chalk grassland and the larvae feed on the roots of various species of Plantains.

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