Pembrokeshire Minibeasts

Thursday, June 23, 2011 Adam Tilt 4 Comments


I haven't had the chance to get out anywhere this week which has given me the opportunity to return to a collection of images from my recent long weekend away in Pembrokeshire. I have already covered the fantastic birds on Skomer here as well as the Lackey Moth caterpillars, but we also saw plenty of other wildlife that I have yet to share.

Lets start with spiders. Walking around the coast from Abereiddy Bay we noticed a couple of balls of what at first glance looked to be caterpillars, but upon closer inspection turned out to be closely knit groups of young spiders. There were several of these suspended in the lower branches of the Gorse where they were well protected from the worst of the weather. Moving in for this shot I was distinctly aware that one wrong movement could have sent hundreds of mini spiders scattering in all directions, something which as you can imagine I wanted to avoid at all costs.

24410 - Young Spider, Pembrokeshire

Further south and again on the coast we came across the following spider that was busy building itself a web. If anyone knows what species it is I would love to know as it looks very similar to the youngsters above.

24415 - Spider, Pembrokeshire

The coast at Abereiddy also had a good selection of butterflies including several Common Blues and the following Wall Brown. The strong winds were keeping it well grounded and fortunately it had chosen a perfect Bluebell upon which to rest.

24412 - Wall Brown, Pembrokeshire

As I think I mentioned previously we were struck by how many different sorts of caterpillar we saw on our travels, with these two being the most impressive.

24423 - Narrow Bordered Five Spot Burnet Caterpillar, Pembrokeshire

24431 - Depressaria daucella larva, Pembrokeshire

The first is a Narrow Bordered Five Spot Burnet caterpillar, whilst the second is of a Depressaria Daucella larva. Both of these are species of moths, with the latter being a micro-moth having no English name. It is shown here feeding on water-dropwort which is its preferred food source. The roadsides leading to Whitesands Beach were covered in this plant which in turn held hundreds of these larvae. Photographing them proved to be a bit of a challenge though as apart from their small size the plants were waving around in the wind which made getting a sharp picture difficult. Fortunately I was able to get this one cracker.

4 comments:

  1. A wonderful selection, Adam. Incredible spiders.

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  2. you got some great macro shots. yes, the nest o' baby spiders would be unsettling to unsettle for sure! :)

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  3. Excellent pictures Adam.
    Never seen a Wall Brown before; lovely markings.

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  4. Super images,superb photography.
    John.

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