Monday, April 3, 2017

Feeding Starts!

I visited Knepp Wildlands yesterday, Sun 2nd.  Two of the three larvae I was following on one tree have got through the winter (the 3rd went missing-presume-crunched during Feb but may yet reappear).  The two have started feeding, probably on Thurs March 30th; and I spotted the silhouette of another larva high up on another leafing sallow.  

My captive larva has also begun feeding, and Brother Denis's boys in Aylesbury are on-leaf, ready to feed.

It is unusual for iris larvae to commence feeding this early.  And if this goes on the butterfly will be out in early June - unless May is foul, again...

Here's Knepp No 2 from yesterday - 

Here's him starting to feed on his second leaf - 

And here's the other larva, ready to move on to a leaf (he's already bitten into an opening leaf bud) - 

Here's a view out over one patch of the (vast acreage of) sallow lands, from a tree platform - 

Here's a couple of the Knepp Wildlands pigs, lazing away the first of summer's hours yesterday -

The pigs are quite important to the future of iris at Knepp, as their diggings (below) get colonised by sallow...

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