Sunday, 30 June 2013

Alder Hills - 24th June 2013

William had an inset day and asked if we could have a walk on one of the local heaths. We were a bit limited with time so we went to a little oasis in one of the other parts of Poole called Alder Hills as it's only 5 minutes drive away. He specifically wanted to try and see Sand Lizard which can be quite numerous in these parts but it wasn't particularly warm and we failed to find any. We did however manage to find a few bits and pieces and he was very happy to see a new butterfly in the form of a Green Hairstreak

 Green Hairstreak

William isn't really into our avian friends but that doesn't really bother me as he is very keen on other aspects of our wonderful Natural History so it was nice to show him a couple of damsels and dragons.
If any of my id's are wrong please let me know

 Common Blue Damselfly - brown form

 Common Blue Damselfly

 Common Blue Damselfly - male

 Scarce Chaser

Oedemera nobilis - Swollen-thighed Beetle (thanks Dr Duff)

Neofaculta ericetella
The above moth is common on it's foodplant - heather, and sure enough there were a few around.

However, I didn't notice any Horse Chestnut trees but I'm fairly certain this next moth is HC Leaf-miner
 Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner

Whilst I was trying to photograph a Common Heath moth, unsuccessfully, I noticed this caterpillar which appears to be an Emperor Moth larva. As it's a moth I've only seen once before and one that William is very keen to see we are going to try and breed it out. So far so good and it seems to prefer Hazel and is growing at a good rate.

 Emperor Moth

I think it had just moulted out of it's 2nd instar skin and left this behind:

 Emperor Moth 2nd instar?

This beast of a fly posed nicely for photos, anybody able to put a name to it please?

 Brown Heath Robberfly (thanks Warren and Stuart Elsom)

Lastly, another plea for id help please. One of the shrubs in the front garden has good numbers of this caterpillar but I can't work out what it is.

Berberis Saw-fly (thanks @stewchat)


  1. I'm no fly swat Marc (heh Heh) might be a Robber fly. Caterpillar could be a Mullein Moth ?

  2. Hi Warren, thanks for that - another friend has suggested Brown Heath Robberfly which looks good. The caterpillar does look like a Mullein but it isn't that, in fact a fellow Tweeter has suggested a sawfly and it would appear to be a Berberis Sawfly - a recently colonising pest.