Garden Chafer

Adult garden chafers do not cause significant damage to the plants that they feed on. The larval grubs however, often cause yellow patches to appear on lawns where they are feeding on the roots. This can result in dead patches. A number of plants can also be damaged in this way. Large numbers of garden chafer grubs can occur within large lawns and amenity turf areas such as golf courses. Badgers and crows will often dig into the grass to find and eat the grubs causing serious damage.

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Garden chafer

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Green Shield Bug

In the UK, the bright green shield bugs appear in May, having hibernated as imagos during the winter. They fatten for a month and then mate in June. The imago’s colouration changes over the summer months from green to greenish browns even bronze, after which the life cycle will end. Mating is back-to-back. The female lays her eggs in hexagonal batches of 25 to 30, and a single female will lay three to four batches. After the eggs hatch, the green shield bug enter a larval stage (which is really their first nymphal stage) where, in general, they remain together in sibling communities. This is made possible by the excretion of an aggregation pheromone. In case of danger, another pheromone is released which causes dispersal. The larval stage is followed by four more nymphal stages as well as moulting between each one. The green shield bug displays different colouration during each nymphal stage, light brown, black or green-black, and in the final stage, the imago, is bright green with short wings. Usually the imago stage is reached in September, with hibernation occurring in November.

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Green shield-bug

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Spotted Crane-fly

Crane flies are found worldwide, though individual species usually have limited ranges. They are most diverse in the tropics, and are also common in northern latitudes and high elevations.

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Spotted crane-fly

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Speckled bush-cricket

The speckled bush-cricket is quite a common species, but its colouring and secretive lifestyle, hidden away in the undergrowth, mean that it often passes unnoticed.

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Speckled bush-cricket

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Weevils are any of a superfamily (Curculionoidea) of beetles which have the head prolonged into a more or less distinct snout and which include many that are destructive especially as larvae to nuts, fruit, and grain or to living plants; especially : any of a family (Curculionidae) having a well-developed snout curved downward with the jaws at the tip and clubbed usually elbowed antennae.

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Nut-leaf weevil


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Waynetta Galloway With Water Buffalo Inclinations

The two new calves had their ears tagged on Tuesday; one of them hid from me for a couple of days, I found it sleeping in dense thistles yesterday. The other calf wasn’t too happy about having its ears pierced either; it darted away terrified whenever it saw me afterwards. Both calves found the ear tagging process a bit traumatic. This evening, though, both have settled down and are back on form.

The Galloways will go absolutely anywhere and do anything to get food. I shot this video with my iPhone this evening. Waynetta is in the road water run-off pond eating the bull rushes that are supposed to be cleaning the pond water.

Time to move the herd back over Hoo Brook now. When I tried moving the herd across to Falling Sands Nature Area a couple of weeks ago, they wouldn’t leave Hoo Brook Pasture. Even a full bucket of cattle nuts failed to tempt them over the brook bridge. I had to call the Rangers to give me a hand in the end; it took four of us to get them moving in the right direction. The herd is running out of grazing now so, hopefully, they will feel like rushing across the bridge to get at the new grass in Hoo Brook Pasture.

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Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)

Cinnabar moths can be found throughout Britain, except northern Scotland, wherever its larval foodplant, ragwort and groundsel, are present.

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