Damselfly sex

The life of an adult azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) is actually quite short. The latest study suggests that few live little longer than a week but they spend that week having lots of sex.

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There is a well established rabbit warren in the hedge between Cornfield and Sleepers Field. But, despite their long-term place in our landscapes and myths, rabbits are not British natives; they are an introduced alien species.

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Clive Knight has sent in beautiful photographs of two butterflies: a brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and a large white (Pieris brassicae). Although both are members of the Pieridae family, they have significantly different life cycles.

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Broad bodied chaser

Have you seen the male broad bodied chasers fighting for territory in spectacular aerial dog fights over the pond? There were at least ten of them yesterday, as well as two females laying their eggs in the pond’s shallow margins. If you’re passing, pause and watch; here is a video to help you with identification.

Header picture: broad bodied chaser (Libellula depressa) © Simon Knight.

A lot of Lepidoptera

from Ian Bushell and Clive Knight

[1] Blood vein moth [2] Meadow brown [3] Ringlet [4] Small heath [5] Painted lady [6] Small skipper.
Header Image: Comma by Ian Bushell

Picture of the Week

An azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) on greater bindweed, photographed in the reserve by Ian Bushell, who has a new camera.

Most of the reserve’s grey squirrels will have two litters of young this year. The first litter was born in the spring, and is now ready to be weaned in preparation for leaving the nest and the care of their mother. Here is a video of a family of young squirrels, on the edge of independence, trying to persuade their mother to feed them.

Header image by DKG

Six spot burnet moth

This is a six spot burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae), a dayflying nectar feeder. Regular volunteer, Clive Knight photographed it yesterday on the reserve’s plentiful, nectar-rich, tufted vetch.

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Small tortoiseshell

There are small tortoiseshell caterpillars (Aglais urticae) among the nettles by the path in Simpson’s Field. Take a careful look as you walk past.

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