Out and About

So here are some things I have seen lately in the field by my house…

This is the caterpillar of a knotgrass moth (Acronicta rumicis). It is distinguished from other similar ones by the red and brick coloured triangular patches, which are below its spiracles.

Well, spiracle is a new word for me, so for anybody else who doesn’t know it, here’s the definition: the breathing pores through which insects obtain their air supply. They occur on most segments of the body and lead to the tracheal system.

I can just about spot them on this caterpillar.

They also have white blotches on each side and red spots along the back. They feed on herbaceous plants: docks, plantain, bramble.

Speaking of dock, we also spotted this little fellow (or should I say lady, as this is the female) Gastrophysa viridula, a green beetle that feeds on dock and is sometimes known as a green dock leaf beetle. Mated females become grossly distended so that their elytra do not fully cover the abdomen.

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