Thats not cricket

Thursday I had the good fortune to carry out the butterfly transect at Swanwick lakes. It had been a rather warm day so there was plenty on the wing to record. From lakes to meadows and woodland, Swanwick is a pretty stunning place and very diverse. After recent sightings of a Male Purple emperor I was pretty excited to see if I could find it and, even better get it recorded on the transect.

Unfortunately I didn’t see the Purple emperor on my transect walk but a good selection of summer butterflies, Meadow brown being the most abundant. One thing that I’ve noticed in recent weeks is the song of another group of invertebrates; Orthoptera (Crickets, Grasshoppers and Allies).

Walking through Flat Meadow and North East Meadow at Swanwick it was fantastic to see such a large range of hoppers jumping out of the grass as I walked through. Orthoptera is a group I know little about but fascinating all the same. I took some pictures to ID them later with the books to hand. Here are a few.

Meadow Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper

Roesel's bush-cricket

Roesel’s bush-cricket

Dark bush-cricket

Dark bush-cricket

The last three nights (Thurs, Fri & Sat) have been National Moth Night. May seem confusing to call three nights a ‘national moth night’ but it takes in consideration nights of bad weather not suitable for moth trapping. Basically it’s very similar to other citizen science projects such as big garden bird watch etc – a large concentrated effort to record as many moths as possible over the three days. This years focus was woodland moths.

I put the moth trap out at Beechcroft on Thursday night and recorded 140 moths over 43 species. Nothing was particularly rare but there were a few pretties in there such as Rosy footman & Clouded border. The rarest moth we caught was a Kent black arches which is a notable B moth meaning it is found in few parts of the country.


Kent black arches

Kent black arches

Over the weekend the trap went on at home recording a few more species including this stunning Beautiful yellow underwing.

Beautiful yellow underwing

Beautiful yellow underwing

Overall a good week of insect spotting. I’ll certainly be looking out for more crickets and grasshoppers over the coming weeks.


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