Sue Morton writes:
Recently I’ve saved two day-glo green creatures from a messy end on the pavement in Hailey Road. The first was an oak bush-cricket nymph which was wandering around on the pavement under a large lime tree.
I persuaded the cricket onto my hand and decided to take its portrait before putting it somewhere safer. Photographing it wasn’t that easy as it had headed off up my arm, but I managed a single handed shot with my phone. It wasn’t fully grown and its wings were shorter than an adult’s – but look at the length of its antennae! This is one cricket that I won’t be able to hear with my bat detector, as the males don’t “sing”, but instead signal their presence by drumming a foot on a leaf.
A week or so later I rescued a second lime-green creature – a young-ish lime hawk-moth caterpillar, which must have fallen out of the tree. As you can see from the photo, it has the characteristic “horn” sticking up from its rear end, and diagonal stripes along its sides. Most years I see these caterpillars under the lime trees in my road, and move any live ones back on to the tree, but each year there are a few squashed ones.
It just goes to show that you can see interesting things in unpromising places if you keep your eyes open!
Sue Morton, 17 July 2022
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