Caterpillar hunt at Ainsdale LNR

Yesterday was overcast with not a breath of wind. Perfect conditions for Natural History photography do I drove up to Ainsdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve to see what I could find.

Dunes and wet slacks

I wandered through the dunes and wet slacks and found a patch of creeping Willow that had been stripped of almost all their leaves. The leaves had been eaten by the caterpillar of the White Satin Moth, Leucoma salicis.

The larvae are black with a row of light dorsal spots and a yellow lateral line.

Leucoma salicis

                                                Larvae of Leucoma salicis

When about to pupate the caterpillar spins a loose cocoon between leaves. The pupa are black with white spots and yellow tufts of hair.

Caterpillar and pupa of Leucoma salicis

The moths all emerge within a couple of days and the air can seem full of them. Last year it was on 13th June. I will have to keep an eye on conditions in the next couple of weeks. I don’t want to miss the spectacle.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I also saw some lovely flowers in delicate shades of white and pink and some Heath Dog Violets.

01

02 Heath Dog Violet

                                                         Heath Dog Violet

I wonder what I will find next time?

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve, Moths, Natural History, Photography, Sefton Coastline, Wild Flowers. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Caterpillar hunt at Ainsdale LNR

  1. Marie says:

    Lovely and interesting photos,really admire your patience. It is too easy to miss delicate flowers and nature while walking , taking in the views and trying not to wander off the track.

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