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Sunday, April 4, 2010
Gentlemen, Lady. I am pleased to report that none of the surviving wild iris larvae I have been following has gone missing since my last visit (on 14th March). Quite remarkable as they were vanishing at 2-3 a week during Feb and early March, presumably to tit predation. The tit flocks have now split up, mercifully.
One larva has moved from its hibernation spot, the scar of a vanished spray, and travelled 30cm up to lie beside a swelling leaf bud. This was the first larva to enter hibernation, on Oct 23rd. All have greened up a lot, some totally.
Most of the breeding trees are just starting to flower, though only one or two leaf buds are beginning to open. Most larvae are next to opening flower buds, though some are next to leaf buds that haven't swollen at all. At this stage it seems that the butterfly has not selected trees that come into leaf early, or late, but watch this space on that.
Back home, half of my few captive larvae have moved to reposition themselves next to buds and are greening up, but the rest are still comatose.
And I found a mid-final instar Pearl-bordered Fritillary larva early this morning, suggesting that Euphrosyne, Queen of the Spirits of the Month of May, might start during the 2nd week of May.
And I saw my first swallow of the year.
And the rather scarce bumblebee-mimic hoverfly Criorhina ranunculi.
And apparently one of my daughters got up before noon......