26 September 2008

Insects on ragwort

While walking in the forestry near our home, we found this moth feeding on some ragwort flowers. It is an ear moth (Amphipoea sp.). There are 4 British species of ear moth, which are very hard to tell apart.

These flowers were also popular with other insects including a strongly patterned hover-fly (Helophilus sp.)


AshDiane said...

I have an insect which, viewed from atop, has a purple sheen to it feeding on my ragwort. It has a slightly waspish shaped body yet no stinger, zips from one place to another when it flies, does not hover or have the wing shape of a hoverfly. Any ideas on what it could be? I would take a pic of it but my camera batteries just went flat and I have no spares. Because of the amount of rare species which like to feed on ragwort, I like to allow it to flower in my garden, then removing it after the flower dies just before it seeds. This way I can control it yet still allow it to provide good food for insects as well as attract predators for pests. Diane :-)

AshDiane said...

Further to my previous message, I found this and think this is the insect I am seeing. From the side it appears dark navy blue, but looking down upon it there is a striking purple luminous sheen. Awesome.


Fred and Sarah said...

Thanks for your comments, Diane. As I'm in the UK and I suspect you are in the US, I don't think I could have helped you with your ID as I don't know US insects at all. But I'm pleased to note that you seem to have answered your own question. Sarah

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