20.6.15.

Three words to describe the weather today for the Reptile Survey….WET WET WET!!! All of us got totally soaked. So much so, it made it right through to my underwear.

The Reptile Survey, although raining heavily throughout, was quite successful. We got to see 2 Grass Snake, 1 Slow Worm, At least 10 Common Lizard and a Common Toad.

I would like to thank Cobs (The Warden) for letting me use the Staffordshire Wildlife Trusts step ladders to photograph this next moth. Without the step ladders I would not have been able to photograph and ID this new moth for my list. Its called a Olive Pearl (Udea olivalis)…

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This is also a first for me, seeing 1st Instar Larvae emerge from their tiny eggs. I would guess the larvae were about 2mm in length, and to the naked eye easily missed. I do believe why they stay close to their eggs (26 Eggs & 26 Larvae) is because this provides them with their 1st meal.  As yet they remain Unidentified, but I’m guessing at either White or Buff Ermine Larvae. I have a fantastic website to check for these facts, but neither have 1st Instar Buff or White Ermine Larvae photos…

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One bad thing about heavy rain, is that I usually decide not to take my camera gear, and just enjoy a walk. When the survey team reached the Island Pool we spotted a Southern Hawker trying to escape its Nymph Skin. Wow! what a struggle it was having trying to pull itself free. But must admit it was fascinating to watch. I was kicking myself not taking the camera gear. At this stage I would guess it was only halfway free. When the Reptile Survey had ended, I decided to rush over, and see if it was still there. Luckily it was, and this time it had managed to totally break free, and was in the drying out stage. I Must admit, with it being freshly escaped, the colour confused me, as it looked so pale. For this reason I put it on iSpot just to check. The reason given for being a Southern Hawker is that it has wide Antehumeral Stripes, and also has a Thoracic Side Pattern. Thanks to Chris Brooks for the ID and Information….

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Update:- Can’t believe I overlooked this yesterday…Its obviously a Common Froghopper. The stripes made me think of another species of Leafhopper I had seen a few years ago…

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