Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chestnut Avenue, 17 July 2010

My very first time at Chestnut Avenue. Saw a tremendous amount of nature in the few hours that James and I were there.

The very first thing I saw from this trip left a deep impression on me. It was a larva in a bubble cocoon!

My first encounter with these monkey hoppers. How aptly they are called! They were almost everywhere.

One of my most exciting finds of the day was this shield bug. Whilst trying to get a good focus on this bug, it actually peed! Alas, it happened too abruptly, I did not manage to capture that exulting moment.

My very first time chancing upon a longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae) as well!

Tortoise-shelled beetle, my very first too. It was extremely shy and walked in a wobbly fashion away as fast as it could to avoid the light from my torch. Isn't it so very pretty!

This moves! Seems like a kind of tube worm.

In this trip alone we saw a couple of really cool caterpillars!

This melon thorax caterpillar (thanks James) was really intriguing.

This one had a really cool pink shade on its head!

Caterpillar cocoon?

Likely a silk moth pupa, like this one.

Intricate caterpillar egg cases or cocoons; this looked like a fancy bead..

..and this, planet Jupiter!

Mantid ootheca (egg case).

James shared that this was an example of an ant that had been programmed to chew the stalk of the plant; such an ant had most likely been parasitized by a fungus and would eventually die. This one here had most likely already been dead for some time as the fungus had already emerged from it.

My first thread-legged bug.

A curious looking Hemiptera, perhaps the planthopper Epiptera europea? The fashion in which it walked was really amusing.

Throughout the trip, grasshoppers, crickets and katydids "popped up" here and then; how beautiful they all were! As there were so very many of them, I compiled a collage of the different ones that I encountered.

It always tickled me to behold the scratching action that the grasshoppers seemed to enjoy doing.

And those shown above were not all that we saw. Amongst many other creatures that we saw were lynx spiders, pill bugs, forest roaches and other interesting bugs. Here is James' account of the trip in light of his own experience. Would I say Chestnut Avenue is a treasure trove of wildlife? For sure yes!