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WHITLINGHAM: Tortoise Beetles and more

27th May 2016

After dropping Cathy off in the city I looped round to Whitlingham for an evening walk. There were thousands of a small species of Caddisfly, Mystacides longicornis, that had clearly emerged that day.

Whilst listening to a Song Thrush I noticed a well-camouflaged Tortoise Beetle on a burdock leaf. There are two similar mainly green ones, but this one turned out to be Thistle Tortoise Beetle (Cassida rubiginosa). Interestingly I found a second species later on, also on a burdock leaf. This one was Cassida vibex, which I have recorded here previously.

My productive evening of invertebrates continued with some occupied leaf mines in a dock leaf and lots of weevils. A soldierfly was identified online by Andy Musgrove as a Black Colonel (these flies all have a military rank in their name!) and confirmed by the Soldierfly recording scheme as a new TG20 record, which was satisfying. I also saw a small white micro moth. There are two similar species that are most easily identified by looking at them head on, so I'm not sure mine can be identified - it is either Elachista argentella or Opostega salaciella.

Finally I noticed that quite a lot of the campion flowers had dark centres. This is caused by a smut, known aptly as Campion Anther Smut.

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