" Welcome to the florafaunauk site , hope you enjoy the pictures and posts giving a detailed insight into the Natural History of our Country throughout the seasons and year "All that the Sun Shines on is beautiful, so long as it is Wild" John Muir "

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Bag Worms


The Psychidae (bagworm moths, also simply bagworms or bagmoths) are a family of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) which are much overlooked

"Bags" resemble caddisfly cases in their outward appearance – a mass of (mainly) plant detritus spun together with silk on the inside.. The case is based on a silk tube, to which the larva attaches various bits of plant, matter such as lichens, algae, sand, insects and debris. Like Caddis Psychidae larvae construct cases that can be identifiable through combinations of shape, size and material , this is not always reliable due to similar constructions in other species so rearing is recommended

In the larval stage, bagworms extend their head and thorax from their mobile case to devour the leaves of host plants, often leading to the death of their hosts

Bagworm caterpillars make distinctive 1.5 to 2 inch long spindle-shaped bags that can be seen hanging from twigs of a variety of trees and shrubs. Sometimes the bags are mistaken for pine cones or other plant structures. 

Adult females of many bagworm species have only vestigial wings, legs, and mouthparts. In some species, parthenogenesis is known. The adult males of most species are strong fliers with well-developed wings and feathery antennae but survive only long enough to reproduce due to underdeveloped mouthparts that prevent them from feeding. Their wings have few of the scales characteristic of most moths, instead having a thin covering of hairs.
Some Bagworm Species

11.006 ... B&F 0181 Taleporia tubulosa (Retzius, 1783)

11.005 ... B&F 0179 Dahlica lichenella .. Lichen Case-bearer (Linnaeus, 1761) (Recorded VC63 )

11.004 ... B&F 0177 Dahlica inconspicuella .. Lesser Lichen Case-bearer (Stainton, 1849)

11.009 ... B&F 0184 Luffia ferchaultella (Stephens, 185

11.012 ... B&F 0186 Psyche casta (Pallas, 1767)

11.002 B&F 0175) Narycia duplicella

11.001 B&F 0180) Diplodoma laichartingella (Recorded VC63 )

11.003 B&F 0176) Dahlica triquetrell

11.001 B&F 0180) Diplodoma laichartingella

The larva builds a case, covered with small fragments of plant matter and other particles, and feeds on lichens, decaying plant matter and detritus. The larval period usually lasts for two years.During the Winter months, cases can be found tucked well into the characteristic hollows around the roots of mature Beech trees, the larvae becoming active from late March and early April, moving back up the tree trunks to begin feeding.

11.009 ... B&F 0184 Luffia ferchaultella (Stephens, 185

Chris Manley (in his `British Moths`, 2nd Edition 2015) states that it can be `abundant on tree trunks in damp woods` and other sources mention old fence posts (or other wooden objects) or old walls where powdery grey lichens grow. The latter can be locally frequent, even in urban areas. Luffia is said to prefer `shady places` rather than tree trunks and walls etc in full sun.March/early April) is said to be the best time to find the distinctive larval cases. as cases are, by then, full sized (up to 6mm) and easier to spot.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Common Footman Eilema lurideola ABH 72.045 BF2050

These small caterpillars 0.8 mm - 1.2 mm where found at the base of a lichen covered wall .

Its likely this is the Caterpilar of the Common Footman

72.045 BF2050    Common Footman Eilema lurideola

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Quote of The week 14

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.


Friday, 6 January 2017

The King of Fishers

Size and Colour

Common Kingfishers measure 17 – 19 centimetres in length, weigh between 34 – 46 grams and have a wingspan of 25 centimetres. Their beak is around 4 centimetres long and pointed. Kingfishers have short, orange coloured legs.

Lens Standard 300mm Tamron non-stabilised lens

                   YWT Adel Dam LNR

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Kingfishers have very keen eyesight. The kingfisher has monocular vision (in which each eye is used separately) in the air and binocular vision (in which both eyes are used together) in water. The underwater vision is not as a sharp as in the air, however, the ability to judge the distance of moving prey is more important than the sharpness of the image.

Where To see Them

Kingfishers are found by still or slow flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas. In winter, some individuals move to estuaries and the coast. Occasionally they may visit garden ponds if of a suitable size. They can be seen all year round. Cromwell Bottom is an ideal location for theses birds with a unique comnbination of the River Calder, Canals and Lagoons

General Facts

Kingfishers are  vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe. It is estimated there are 3,800-4,600 breeding pairs in the UK

Many young kingfishers die within days of fledging, their first dives leaving them waterlogged so they end up drowning.Because of the high mortality of young, kingfishers usually have two or three broods a year, with as many as 10 in a brood.

This image catches the Kingfisher just as it expresses in the  afternoon during its preening ritual
 the white liquid faeces is forcably ejeted in a dramatic fashion seen ejected just behind this bird

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Preening Ritual 

Kingfishers live in burrows which are often insanitary therefore a good preening regime is essential in keeping feathers clean and in working condition

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Like all small birds the Kingfisher remains wary of  overhead activity to avoid presation by raptors

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The common kingfisher hunts from a perch 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) above the water, on a branch, post or riverbank, bill pointing down as it searches for prey. It bobs its head when food is detected to gauge the distance, and plunges steeply down to seize its prey usually no deeper than 25 cm (9.8 in) below the surface

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Like all kingfishers, the common kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60% of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control of a suitable stretch of river. It is solitary for most of the year, roosting alone in heavy cover. If another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds display from perches, and fights may occur, where a bird will grab the other's beak and try to hold it under water. Pairs form in the autumn but each bird retains a separate territory, generally at least 1 km (0.62 mi) long, but up to 3.5 km (2.2 mi) and territories are not merged until the spring.

The courtship is initiated by the male chasing the female while calling continually, and later by ritual feeding, mating usually following.

More Videos On The Kingfisher

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