The first news is excellent when both Sloe Pugs emerged on the 15th May and are now proudly shown on the relevant species page along with pupal photos also taken by Tim. I can also tell you that both were taken back to where they were obtained and released successfully, a very pleasing first Pug story and the first species page to have nearly all the early stages, just missing the ova.
Two unidentified noctuid larva were not so lucky when both were lost to a fungus attack and another unidentified geometrid larva was lost to Ichneumonid Wasp and looking closely at the photo I don’t think the wasp has come out to well either. Although the wasp has not been identified here is the pupal case that confirmed the synopsis. http://www.pbase.com/laroseforest/image/141153767
A Feathered Thorn larva is progressing well along with other unknowns.
Yesterday Tim and I went to Acres Down in the New Forest in search of possible Bilberry Pug which sadly is possibly best searched at dusk although good guidance suggest it is possible to find them by seaching for leaves closed with silk. We found an amazing area of Bilberry covering a vast area beneath Beech and Oak Woodland and although after considerable searching we did not achieve our aim and will continue the quest closer to home where another Bilberry site is known.
Like all adventures into these magical and beautiful places something is almost certainly going to come along that places back the smile and that certainly happened yesterday.
Whilst searching carefully, and I mean carefully, I moved to an area of dappled light and almost immediately found a beautiful micro moth that shone metallically ,or should I say three, called Micropterix aureatella. It is almost certain this little moth feeds on Billberry as they flew in the sunshine within and area of a couple of square feet not appearing to want to go anywhere else.
They are very small and with my 100 macro lens I did have great difficulty trying to get enough shots for the website as light and the dappled shade didn’t assist.
So another new moth for the website which is now on the website and it wasn’t long before another Bilberry specialist appeared called the Little Thorn which also is now on the website so two new moths was very pleasing and seeing in their environment all the more pleasing.
On the way back to the car park we did achieve another of the pug larvae when a few were beaten from Crab Apple so “Watch this space” as Tim usually says.
I have to say as an amateur that nothing is more pleasing than going out on site learning about the moths and their environment. You can write about anything but first hand experience will always take some beating so thanks Tim for an extremely informative and enjoyable day, roll on the next one.
Not quite up to date as the phone call from Tim earlier was also to tell me he has been beating in Ropley on Field Maple looking for Maple Pug larva and after a long spell caught one on the last attempt, so the score so far is 3 out of 4 Pugs found,which is a good strike rate.
Given reasonable weather I’m sure there will other addendums to the Guest Blog by Tim Norriss – searching for Pugs so keep looking.
All the best