As the leaves fill out and mature on the trees, the insect larvae get busy eating them. Hopefully the birds are enjoying eating the larvae as well. Otherwise we are going to have a problem with the alder sawfly in future years! This is not it’s real name, but I see a lot of them on alder trees and have not noticed them elsewhere. I first notice just a few holes in the leaves, and then the tiny dark coloured caterpillars can be seen at the leaf edges. When bigger they are paler with dark spots. When disturbed they rear up in an amusing manner. I don’t know what the adult flies look like.
This picture looks really tropical, but the scale is really small. This is an unknown bug on a knapweed flower.
I have been worried ever since we started planting trees in the tree field about the number of what I thought were vine weevil grubs I was digging up. These are little maggots with a brownish head. Vine weevil are notorious amongst gardeners for destroying plants from the roots – particularly strawberries. One interesting thing about vine weevils (maybe other weevils too?) is that females can reproduce parthenogenically (they don’t need a male).
However this year I spotted these beetles on some of the trees (mostly willows). They were obviously weevils, but didn’t look like vine weevils – they are smaller and have a smoother back without the bronze speckles that vine weevils have. I was surprised when I tried to find out what they were, how many different sorts of weevil there actually are in the UK (see here). So I’m not sure exactly which these are – but I’m happier that I don’t have widespread wine weevils all over the holding. I know I have them up by the house, but so far they don’t seem to cause too much damage. Maybe the ground beetles keep the population under control; I have seen a black beetle happily eating an adult vine weevil in the polytunnel so I know they will take a few at least!
I’ll just share this photo of red soldier beetles, if only because of their common name of hogweed bonking beetles. They were happy (!) on the hogweed flowers.
You must be logged in to post a comment.