WINE RACE 2016 .. MATTc380 .. TRENT 353 .. BEN 347 ...... Garden species:- Macros 357, Micros 365, Total 722

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

One hundred and EIGHTY !

Large Yellow Underwing's that is.
My two garden traps were infested with them.
Admittedly I crammed in more egg boxes to cater for them in the hope there would be enough room for anything else.

As it happens, there were other species, the pick of the bunch was a second Peacock Moth for the year
Peacock Moth

A Blood-vein on the trap glass was a nice find, unfortunately it flew off before I could pot it up for a better photo.
Blood-vein

A late Buff Ermine wasn't expected ...
Buff Ermine
... a very fresh one at that.
And the biggest slug I have ever seen was lurking near one of the traps.
It looks like a Spanish slug that has recently colonised the UK and is spreading across East Anglia at a rapid rate.
Hopefully it is not, but it fits the criteria, and these creatures could spell bad news.
Spanish Slug ?

Spanish Slug ?

Here is an excerpt from the Express 19th Oct 2013

Spanish slug invasion: Hybrid super slug could be biggest threat EVER to UK crops.

The article reads ...
According to experts, the huge Spanish slug which is invading gardens and farms across the country could breed with the native British slug to produce a super-hybrid which can survive both hot and cold climes.
The unbeatable slug will also be unaffected by slug pellets and farming chemicals.
Spanish slugs, or Arion vulgaris, can grow up to 6 inches in length and have become one of the most widely reported pests of both commercial crops and home gardens.
Tristan Maclean, a scientist from the John Innes Centre in Norwich warned that if the Spanish slug does breed with the normal British garden slug, Britain's farming industry would be facing a huge problem.
He said on BBC Breakfast: "I think the big concern is that potentially they could spread across the country and maybe take on some of the traits, if they hybridise and combine with native slugs that give them frost tolerance.
"They produce lots of slime to cope with warm conditions and if they breed they will be able to cope with colder conditions as well, we're looking at a slug that can really effect foodsecurity."
Spanish Slugs are known to produce twice as many eggs as slugs native to the UK and have an extensive omnivorous diet which includes excrement, dead animals and crops that aren’t normally susceptible to slug feeding.
They have even been known to eat each other at times, pushing out other slug and snail species to dominate an area, due to large size and high population density.
Dr Ian Bedford, head of entomology at the John Innes Centre added: "It’s about understanding your enemy,” he says. “We know so little about this species. We think they’re spreading through Europe, and causing problems for crops, but it’s all anecdotal at the moment, so we need to do research.
“We’ve only been able to confirm Arion vulgaris is in East Anglia so far. It is possible it has spread wider afield but without a taxonomic analysis we cannot say.”
A number of scientists are calling for members of the general public to report sightings of the Spanish slug to deal with the rising numbers.
For more go to www.slugwatch.co.uk

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