The Southern Old Lady Moth or Southern Old Lady(Dasypodia selenophora) is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found in the southern half of Australia, as well as Norfolk Island, New Zealand and Macquarie Island.
Leaf mine larva(Tischeria ekebladella) and parasitic wasp.
I visited Kirkby Moor last week with my parents and spent a lovely afternoon looking for plant galls and other things. I was checking out an oak tree for galls when I spotted a parasitic wasp on a leaf mine. This was fascinating to watch and I had a go at photographing the behaviour.
The larva is Tischeria ekebladella, a moth. I doubt I’ll be able to put a name to the wasp, though (and I’m now regretting not taking the leaf home to have a go at raising the parasite for ID).
The nine-spotted moth(Amata phegea) is a moth in the family Arctiidae. The nine-spotted moth is chiefly found in southern Europe but also seen up to northern Germany, and in the East to Anatolia and the Caucasus, and there are some populations in the South-Eastern Dutch nature reserves “Leudal” and “De Meinweg” The species prefers drier areas, open ranges with shrubs and trees as well as open forests and slopes. (Wikipedia)
You’ve seen a lot of good taxidermy this week, but nothing quite like this. Renee Mertz sent me this photo of a diorama at Vienna’s Naturhistorisches Museum, which depicts a group of butterflies greedily feeding off the carcass of a dead piranha.
This is not a spot of whimsy, people. This kind of thing really does happen. In fact, you can watch a real-life example (with a less-threatening fish substituted in for the piranha) in a video taken in Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest.
The good news: The butterflies are not really carnivorous, per se. The bad news: What they’re actually doing is still pretty damn creepy.
It’s called “puddling” or “mud-puddling”. The basic idea works like this: Butterflies get most of their diet in the form of nectar. They’re pollinators. But nectar doesn’t have all the nutrients and minerals butterflies need to survive, so they have to dip their probosces into some other food sources, as well. Depending on the species of butterfly, those other sources can include: Mineral-rich water in a shallow mud puddle, animal poop, and (yes) carrion.