Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wiltshire Doings

It turns out that there are some advantages to working in Swindon - namely the proximity of a wood full of Purple Emperor larvae I managed to grab an hour or so to check out some of the larvae that I've been keeping an eye on. No new finds, but good to see that the few I was searching for were still around, despite a lack of winter (it was quite balmy at times). The penultimate photo is of a larva that has survived the felling of an enormous sallow and that somehow managed to cling on as the tree toppled. As Matthew often tells me - "never underestimate a caterpillar"! The last photo, not brilliant by any means, does show how the horns on the head make for a very smooth outline when seen in silhouette and, being on the north side of this particular twig, must be very difficult to find from a bird's perspective. The wood itself has transformed now that all of the leaves have fallen, looking like a skeleton of its former glory.

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