Monday, 11 May 2015

11th May - Maybug Beatin’ On My Window

Indiffeent weather over the weekend, and after Saturdays proceedings were brought to a halt by the rain, I decided to focus on some work in the garden on Sunday.  when the sun did come out there were at least four House Martins over the house in the late afternoon.

The moth trap has been very poor when I have put it out for the last few days, on one night there was absolutely nothing in it.  I have though been persistent, and this morning there was something of interest to photograph, a few moths and a five May Bugs, or to give them their proper name, Cockchaffers.


This common beetle has a black thorax, rusty brown wing cases and brown legs and characteristic antennae that fan out.  You can often see cockchaffers on May evenings buzzing around the garden. As large, noisy insects they can be a little frightening, but are actually harmless to humans. However, they can considerably damage garden plants and crops.


Adults appear at the end of April or in May and live for about five to seven weeks. After about two weeks, the female begins laying eggs, which she buries about 10 to 20 cm deep in the earth. She may do this several times until she has laid between 60 and 80 eggs. The common cockchaffer lays its eggs in fields

The larvae, known as "white grubs" or "chafer grubs", hatch after four to six weeks. They feed on plant roots. The grubs develop in the earth for three to four years, in colder climates even five years, and grow continually to a size of about 4–5 cm, before they pupate in early autumn and develop into an adult cockchaffer in six weeks.

The cockchaffer overwinters in the earth at depths between 20 and 100 cm. They work their way to the surface only in spring.

They can also be known as  a May bug, Mitchamador, Billy Witch, or Spang Beetle.

Of the five I caught some were happy to play dead, while a couple wanted to get away as soon as possible


Of the moths caught, three were of interest, this Shuttle-shaped Dart.


What I believe is a Common Wainscott, but it does look a little dark.


And this delightful White Ermine.


There was also a Brimstone Moth, but it surprised me and flew off.  So far this spring the moths have been very disappoint, I can only hope things pick up in the coming weeks, we are moving into hawk moth time.

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