A Random Assortment from the Garden

18th July 2012
It was not too bad weather-wise in the garden yesterday, and I took the opportunity between work, to have a look for likely photographic subjects. Here's a few interesting ones.

This caterpillar caught my eye; holding onto an apple leaf and pretending to be a twig. It was 10-12mm long and was really very convincing. Once disturbed, it looped its way further along the leaf and then assumed the "dead twig" pose once again. I accidently dislodged it at one point and it fell. It had attached a silk "anchor line" to the leaf thought, and I used this to retrieve and re-position it. I'm advised (via iSpot), that this is likely to be a caterpillar of a moth in the family Geometridae. This makes sense, as geometridae is derived from the Latin meaning "measuring the earth". This nicely describes the looping action. Also known as "inch-worms", mine was more like a centimeter worm. Must have gone metric!

This little fly (3-4mm) surprised me with just how tolerant (or lazy!) is was. I had been trying to photograph little black Crossocerus wasps but they were proving much more "flighty". This is one of the Soldier Flies; Pachygaster leachii and it was reasonably happy with me approaching very closely for this shot. Soldier flies are in the family Stratiomyidae and include species that are very colourful; somewhat like soldier's uniforms of yester-year. This one's not particularly colourful, but a interesting little fly nontheless.

One think you can say about this Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) is that it's definitely not "flighty". It didn't want to do much at all, but just sit still and be photographed. Perhaps it was just too cool in the garden. That's just as well because Vine Weevils are serious garden pests and are are regularly near the top of the RHS list of "Top 10 Garden Pests". The adults eat plant leaves during spring and Summer, but the larvae attack roots during the autumn and winter and can cause serious plant damage or even death.

(Click on any image for a larger version)

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