Saturday, 21 June 2014

Poplar Hawk Moth

We had a huge great poplar tree in our garden, it is now just a 3 metre high stump, but still with a few leaves of new growth sprouting. In all the 12 years of having a poplar tree we never noticed one of these...

Isn't he a stunner!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Day Twenty Five - Max the Moth!

I was only saying before I went to bed last night "I wonder when it will be Max's turn?" as I couldn't find anything on line to give me a clue how long he was going to take to transform.

As you've probably already gathered this morning I woke to find Max up and about and looking very different. He is a lot smaller than I thought (17mm head to tip of closed wings), it must have been all the fluff filling the pupa skin! It took him 18 days to transform, he was kept indoors at a constant temperature of about 21 degrees.

Yellow Tail Moth Max

Yellow Tail Moth Max showing off all that fluffiness!

Max was beautifully positioned on the glass for rather a unique view, the only shot in which you can see his yellow tail, just!

From a unique perspective!

Then for the release. He wasn't as keen to go as the butterflies were, but moths tend to sit very still during the day anyway.
Max in the sun before flying off.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Day Twenty One - Max the Pupa

He is not quite as pretty as the butterfly pupa, affectionately known as the blob...

Yellow Tailed Moth Pupa
I have no idea how long he will take to transform, the butterflies metamorphosed much quicker than we thought, so we will just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Day Seventeen - Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly Two

It happened again! While I was asleep our second butterfly emerged. I don't think he had been out very long when this photo was taken..

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly Two

How did he fit?
It took a while for him to get ready to open his wings, but look at this, he is perfect!

Once we'd finished taking photos we took him to the garden and set him free, which is a lovely feeling! Video to follow soon.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Day Fifteen - Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly One

Today is the day! Our first butterfly emerged and it is beautiful!!

We missed the process completely but the result is stunning....
Our First Beautiful Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

This was before it had spreads its wings and how I first saw it..
 Upside Down New Butterfly

These are of the skin left behind..

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Day Eight - The Big (Careful) Clean

Unfortunately small tortoiseshell number 3 has not turned into a pupa, I think something must have gone wrong, but he did seem a little smaller than the others and not quite as active. But 3 out of 4 larva to pupa is not bad for our first attempt!!

OK so today is the day! I need to have a good clean out, take out all the nettles and brambles that no-one is attached to and change the water in the tub at the bottom of the bowl that is keeping the plants alive. On go the gloves!!