Friday, 19 September 2014

A bit of a wild goose chase...

Enthused by George`s posting of a small chocolate tip caterpillar found near Cross Hands very recently, I paid a quick visit this afternoon to some strongly suckering aspen stands in the Millennium Coastal Park just E of Burry Port. These aspens were planted in c 1997-1999.
I`m afraid that I did n`t find any of the desired caterpillars, though I did find what I believe is a swallow prominent caterpillar (in fact several were spotted). Photo below.


Many aspen leaves were skeletonised by the activities of the larvae of a chrysomelid or `leaf beetle` - Phyllodecta sp. (probably laticollis, but my memory is unsure).

                                         Above: the damage caused by Phyllodecta.

                                         Above: the adult beetle, Phyllodecta (?laticollis).

Funnily enough, I saw eared willow Salix aurita leaves similarly affected by another leaf beetle in the Capel Gwynfe area yesterday, that time caused by Lochmaea caprea, a dull brownish species (a similar species can also be swept from heather).

Lastly, I stumbled across a fox moth caterpillar as I walked back to the car, so at least I found two species of caterpillar, if not a small chocolate tip!

                                          Above: fox moth caterpillar.

1 comment:

  1. Oh well, the Swallow Prominent larvae are nice anyway.

    Thanks for the info about the beetles - the damage on Aspens is terrible this year and makes it hard to search for leaf mines.

    George

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