Natural observations

The images below show two distinct colour forms of the nursery web spider, Pisaura mirabilis.  The distictive markings show particularly well in the brown form and they also come in fawn as well as shades of grey!  A relatively common species found in suitable habitat.  The male of the species is known to offer a nuptial gift of a wrapped up prey item which functions as a mating effort that increases the chances of a males mating success.

Pisaura mirabilis, brown form

Pisaura mirabilis, brown form

 

Pisaura mirabilis, also comes in shades of grey

Pisaura mirabilis, also comes in shades of grey

Images: Peter Kendall

Another astute observation was that made by Martin Warne who captured the Orgyia recens or Scarce Vapourer image below.  This species is not common, UK Moths website considers it quite rare and confined to a few locations in the east of England having formerly been quite widespread.  The Humberhead Levels was and remains a stronghold as clearly illustrated on the Butterfly Conservation species fact sheet.  See also Yorkshire Moths for regional distribution or NBN Gateway for national.   Many of the former sites have been lost to habitat destruction, as the female of the species is flightless there is little chance of colonies and small isolated populations surviving when hedgerows have been grubbed out.

Orgyia recens or Scarce Vapourer

Orgyia recens or Scarce Vapourer

Scarce Vapourer is listed by JNCC as a UK BAP Priority Species.

 

Footnote:

Brimstone update: It is pleasing to report that the ovum have and are continuing to hatch, but they were late.  Clearly they had not read Frowhawk et. al.  Was this delay consequential of the cooler weather with cold nights?  The egg cases are still attached to the underside of the alder buckthorn leaves and are a transparent film of miniscule thickness.  The larva are tiny, at best perhaps 3 or 4mm.  They are not particularly easy to spot as they lay alongside leaf veins, but a thorough check with a hand lens rewards patient endeavour.  There are some excellent images on UK Butterflies which show a transparent egg case with a first stage instar.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,


%d bloggers like this: