Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumn Tints

His Imperial Majesty, The Monarch of all the Butterflies, the Emperor of the Woods (etc. the rest simply don't count) is preparing for winter - somewhat earlier than usual.  Two wild larvae were in hibernation yesterday (20th Oct, joint earliest wild hibernation date in 4 years recording), and nearly all other larvae were well coloured up.  This isn't surprising as tree leaves are changing colour and falling earlier than normal this year (not surprising after such a rotten summer...).

Here's a larva starting to change colour on a fading leaf.  Unusually, it's not on the leaf tip -

And here's an autumn larva actually doing something - spinning up the stem of his seat / feeding leaf to the twig.  As autumn advances larvae regularly strengthen the join of their leaf, for obvious reasons.  Not the best shot of a larva but the silk is quite obvious.

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