Spiders and Flies

Ringlet (c) Duncan Hutt

Ringlet (c) Duncan Hutt

Meadow brown (c) Duncan Hutt

Meadow brown (c) Duncan Hutt

At this time of year, on warm sunny days, meadows take on a feeling of laziness, epitomised by the slow flapping flight of meadow brown butterflies.  Ringlets also flutter slowly in and over the tall grasses while small skippers are a little more frantic in their flight to find nectar or a mate.  The fields by the River Pont in Stamfordam were alive with these as well as some second brood green-veined whites and a few large whites too.  A stand of marsh and spear thistles provided a great nectar source for the meadow browns and ringlets.  These two grassland species can be a little problematic to tell apart, particularly in flight.  The slightly larger meadow browns tend to have a bit of an orange flash although in some specimens this orange is very dark; ringlets have a pale border around the wings which is usually visible even in flight on younger specimens at least.  Once they stop to feed the differences are more obvious with a set of eyes on the brown wings of the ringlet and a one large eye on the orange forewing of meadow browns.

Nursery web spider (c) Duncan Hutt

Nursery web spider (c) Duncan Hutt

Nursery web spider's nursery web (c) Duncan Hutt

Nursery web spider’s nursery web (c) Duncan Hutt

Elsewhere in the field were some tent type constructions of a nursery web spider, the spider itself was nestled at the base of its home.  The female spider will have carried her batch of eggs around for some time and then constructed this tent into which her tiny offspring have been released.  The baby spiders will stay in this guarded nursery until they are large enough to venture into the outside world; she will stay with them until they have all departed.

Scorpion fly, (Panorpa sp) (c) Duncan Hutt

Scorpion fly, (Panorpa sp) (c) Duncan Hutt

Other creatures in the meadow included a female scorpion fly, some narrow bordered five-spot burnet moths and, by the river, large red damselflies and a newly emerged common darter. The large red damselflies were vying for territories along the slow flowing river; the common darter was lying in wait for an easy meal.


About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
This entry was posted in Invertebrates, Northumberland and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spiders and Flies

  1. This reads like aprose poem by John Clare. paradisical but also educative.

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