Saturday, 21 May 2016

Four Firsts..

Four firsts in the garden today...

The first of the bee orchids to flower

The first sighting of this white spider..

The first time we've noticed the fence supports round the chicken coop are being used by solitary bees..

And the "first" which has us puzzled...
 
 

The daisy is purely to give scale!


This was found under the honeysuckle when I was clearing some weeds and dead leaves. The casing is papery; whatever is inside has orange stripes which you can just make out on one of the photos. It comes to the front of the casing and no further at the moment.

Any ideas please?

4 comments:

LaPré DelaForge said...

It looks like the pupa of a large moth... Possibly something as large as a hawkmoth...
But the actual thing inside is around half that length...
although there is often a difference between the size of the caterpillar and the final pupa....
the caterpillar spun that tube whilst it was full size.
The pupa is able to move up and down the protective tube...but will have to break out as it hatches...this is where you need a hatching cage... So that you can see the critter after it emerges!!
And take pictures naaturally....A large cardboard box with a net top or front....the first I ever made was a shoebox with old net curtain as the front,,,,and some twigs inside for the moth/butterfly to crawl up and expand its wings!
It isn't one that fully buries itself in the soil...which discounts most/all hawkmoths...but that caterpillar was huge!!
Prime possibilities are the Eggar moths... And Chinnery notes that the Drinker moth makes a "tough, yellowish sausage-shaped cocoon .....but I think that most make these and this one was very big....possibly a Giant Peacock moth sized larva.... So the cage you make needs to allow for a 15cm wingspan!!

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

My immediate hunch for the cocoon was Arctidae (Tiger Moths) but I had to do more research. It doesn't look like any Hawk Moth cocoon I've ever seen. (eg Lime Hawk moths don't bury themselves in the soil but in the leaf litter, but they don't spin a cocoon either, just lie there in their chrysalis.) I didn't think it was a Giant Peacock because their cocoons are supposed to be hairy looking and pear shaped (hence their scientific name).

However, a quick twirl around the internet suggests the most likely is Giant Peacock. Pics of their cocoons show they can be cylindrical and they most often pupate at the base of a tree or shrub. Other suspects, such as Emperors and Tigers seem to attach themselves to bushes in the foliage. Tigers don't seem to make such neat cocoons and they seem to be paler. The Emperor cocoons seem to be more consistently pear shaped and they prefer heathland to gardens.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Thanks for your suggestions. Elizabeth is OFF to make a box... Thanks Tim...