A small selection of the plants and insects seen last weekend (May 21–22):
Dictamnus albus (Burning bush, Nagyezerjófű). Tall and stately by the sides of woodland paths. In high summer it exudes a faintly lemon-sented sticky substance which is highly flammable. Perhaps the Burning Bush of the Bible was formed from clump of them.
Zygaena loti (Slender Scotch burnet, Közönséges csüngőlepke). A pair of them on dianthus. Beautiful day-flying moths. These were at the edge of a woodland ride.
Lycaena tityrus (Sooty copper, Barna tűzlepke). In the garden, flying among tall, unmown grass in strong wind.
Coenagrion pulchellum (Variable damselfly, Gyakori légivadász). Coming in great numbers to the nettles by the lakeside.
Cercopis vulnerata (Black-and-red froghopper, Vérehullató kabóca). Terrible picture but it hopped away before I could focus on it.
Colias crocea (Clouded yellow, Sáfránylepke). Flitting erratically, hardly ever settling, in a dry meadow.
Pontia daplidice (Bath white, Rezedalepke). In quite large numbers along a sunny woodland ride.
Black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus). Oh dear. Should probably have killed it. Amazing creature though.
4th May. Standing under a pine tree, got caught in a small rainstorm of tiny white grubs (each one only about half a centimetre long). I ducked back to stop them getting into my hair. As soon as they hit the ground they tried to wriggle away to find a place to burrow down. Not many managed it: the ground was populated by ants and most of the grubs fell prey to them. The struggle lasted quite some while, but the ants seemed to win. These are sawfly larvae, from the xyelidae family. Their host plants are conifers.
Sawfly larva in the clutches of an ant.
Scarce cardinal beetle (Schizotus pectinicornis). I think. Found clinging to a leaf. Early May.