Spotted in our garden today, the Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma is quite widespread occurring in Europe, North Africa and much of temperate Asia.
Migrants arrive in the British Isles in Spring and produce a second generation in Autumn though these don’t usually survive the winter. It’s usual habitats include gardens, farmland, wasteland and open countryside, plenty of all of those around us. The caterpillar feeds on low growing plants and is sometimes a pest of lettuce, peas and other crops. It’s a yellowish green or dark olive green with wavy white lines along its back and a white stripe down each side. Its head is green with a black stripe each side. I’m not surprised we’ve seen this moth because they do fly both at night and during the day.
These odd looking critters are the larval stage of our very familiar garden friend, the ladybird. They are voracious predators consuming between 200 – 400 aphids and other pests before they are ready to pupate. They grow up to 11mm in length and are black with white or orange markings. Anything you can do to encourage these insects into your garden will help in the battle against many pests especially aphids, of which I have many! I plan on constructing an insect ‘condo’ for winter shelter (eventually!). It’s good to see I have these larvae, just need to hang on to them.
The larval stage of the ladybird …
Well the rain we had last week spoiled the blooms on the lilac Gladiolus but we now have a white one flowering and what I think is going to be a yellow one too!
Got a great shot of this bumble bee visiting the white Gladiolus.
A welcome visitor …
A moth that is often mistaken for a small butterfly because it’s on the wing during the day, the Brimstone is common throughout Europe frequenting light woodland, hedgerows and open countryside. This species produces two broods a year so can be seen in any month between April and October. It’s caterpillar has a double pointed hump in the middle of its back and may be either brown or green. It feeds on various deciduous trees and shrubs including blackthorn (Prunus) and hawthorn (Crataegus).
Brimstone (Opisthograptis luteolata)
Rather tatty Small White butterfly. They can be seen from March to July. The caterpillar is bluish green with a row of yellow spots down each side and a yellow line along its back. However, if they pupate on fences or walls they are greyish/brown to blend in with their surroundings, clever huh? They feed on members of the brassica family, cabbages in particular and also on garden mignonette (Reseda) and nasturtium (Trapaeolum), which is what has attracted it to my garden.