Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Assorted Meanderings

July capitulates yet again... .

Today, amongst other visitations, I surveyed a part of Savernake that had not previously been surveyed for adults. Despite much gloom, two soakings, and just a few short sunny spells, I discovered a lovely 'master tree' - a grove of gigantic beech and oak, with dense foliage that afforded shelter from the S and W. Here 3 males were battling against everything, including the wind.

Also, a wild female pupa hatched today. The wild larvae I had been following gave me a hard time once they entered the final instar - nearly all vanished; whether they went walkabout or got crunched, I rather know not. I managed to find 3 wild pupae (it would have been 4 only one pupating larva disappeared - I suspect it got crunched). The last of the three hatched today - high up. This insect pupated right at the end of June (between 28th-30th). I suspect that she is the last of the 2010 emergence. Note iris seems to start and finish relatively late in the mid Wilts woods.

Rather than give the larvae boring numbers I named them all after great poets of the English language. My comeupance occurred when the surviving three pupated, for it is quite easy to sex pupae (even at a distance through binoculars). First, Edward Thomas turned out to be Edwina, then Sara Coleridge turned out to be Samuel (and I'd already had a Samuel); then, to crown it all, Ted Hughes pupated and turned out to be Sylvia Plath. Sylvia emerged today. It is time I gave up Verse... .


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