Monday, 25 October 2010

October on the South Downs

top to bottom: Campanula trachelium; Fraxinus excelsior; Succisa pratensis

Friday, 15 October 2010

IOW Orb web spider

This photograph of a ♀ wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) with her newly made egg sac was taken at a site on the IOW.

The spider was observed for over two weeks in the local vicinity, before it finally set about building its egg sac over a two day period. Then having laid its eggs the ♀ disappeared.
The wasp spider is a recent coloniser in the UK and feeds mainly on grasshoppers which it captures by spinning an orb web between grasses low to the ground. The web contains prominant zig-zag patterns towards the centre - the purpose of which is currently uncertain, although it may function to attract other insects.
Photograph is copyright Chuck Eccleston

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Motacillidae and Turdidae (via Blashford Lakes)

pied wagtail (Motacilla alba); meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis); grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) and northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

mini-beasts of Brittany

Following on the theme from Monday's invertebrate session in Ower Wood - these mini-beasts were photographed on Chuck and Fe's recent trip to Brittany. From top to bottom: brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni); spiked shield bug (Picromerus bidens); large marsh grasshopper (Stethophyma grossum).

All pictures copyright Chuck Eccleston.