Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Windblown sawflies

On a walk in the area south of the Darwell Reservoir at Mountfield, I came across some strange bristly caterpillars resting on bramble leaves. After postings to the UK Moths Group and the Sawfly Group they have been identified as Perclista pubescens, a provisional Red Data Book species.

They feed on oak, not bramble, and must therefore have been blown down in the recent strong winds. I reflected that these winds must reduce the availability of caterpillars for hungry birds and, indeed, that many caterpillars will fail to make it back to their usual foodplant which could reduce the supply of insects next spring.

If global warming is making the weather more stormy ... I am sure you get my drift.

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