Friday, 26 June 2015

Visitors to a Yarrow Plant

One of the fascinitating things about studying insects is seeing the interactions of different insects on one particular plant. I spent this lunchtime having a look at a garden yarrow (Achillea), and there was plenty to see. For several weeks this plant has been taken over by aphids, along with their very attentive ant 'guards'. These are still present, along with a quite a few other things of interest.

Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi is one of my favourite butterflies, and one was fluttering around the yarrow and lnading regularly on it. This is a species that I had only seen on a handful of occasions before moving to the Shropshire Hills, where the Gorse Ulex europeus and Broom Cytisus scoparius covered slopes support healthy populations. I am also fortunate to regularly see them in my garden at this time of year.

Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi

There were also a couple of micromoths skipping around the yarrow, a species which has previously been mentioned on this blog - Dichrorampha petiverella. I have now seen quite a few of these in the garden this year, and the yarrow seems to a be a favourite plant for them to investigate.

Dichrorampha petiverella

Joining the aphids were a couple of other bug species. The Common Flower Bug Anthocoris nemorum is a predatory species, which is very common in the garden and also often found climbing on the walls of the house.

Common Flower Bug Anthocoris nemorum

The Alder Spittlebug Aphrophora alni is one of several species of large froghopper that we find in the UK. This species has a distinct keel running the length of the midline, from the head and down the body, along with distinctive pale patches near the margins of the wings. This combination of features allows well-marked specimens, like this one, to be identified.

Alder Spittlebug Aphrophora alni

All this shows that yarrow is fantastic plant and one that should be in every garden. I will be continuing to check mine for new discoveries.

No comments:

Post a Comment