Sunday
Dec272009

Marbled Beauty Moth

I noticed this rather splendid little moth on our living room wall one day back in August.  It is a marbled beauty moth, Cryphia domestica (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).  The larvae of this species feed on lichen and, presumably, this is the reason for the lichen-like pattern on the wings of the adults.

Photo taken in Reading, UK, on 2009-08-10.

Saturday
Dec262009

Another Soldier Beetle

Another soldier beetle, possibly Cantharis nigricans (Coleoptera: Cantharidae), but it could be one of the other similar Cantharis species, so I will just call it Cantharis sp. for the time being.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-20.

Friday
Dec252009

Soldier Beetle

Soldier beetle Cantharis rustica (Coleoptera: Cantharidae).  According to Michael Chinery (Complete British Insects, Collins, 2005) the reddish femurs and the black spot on the upper surface of the thorax are what distinguish this species  from several similar soldier beetles.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2007-05-19.

Thursday
Dec242009

Nipplewort

From the summer of 2007: what is probably nipplewort (Lapsana communis).  My identification would be more certain if only I had taken a photograph of the leaves as well, but back in 2007 I had not yet learned to do that.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2007-06-02.

Wednesday
Dec232009

Teasels

From a family walk between Loddon Bridge and Dinton Pastures in 2008: the dried seed heads of fuller's teasel (Dipsacus fullonum).  Before the 20th Century these were widely used in the textile industry to raise the nap (ie: tease out the fibres) of wool and other fabrics, even being incorporated into machinery to do this.

Photos taken at Dinton Pastures, Winnersh, near Reading, UK, on 2008-09-28.