Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 11 June 2013 19:45
Shaun and I called in at Knepp to look on the log stack for Pyrrhidium sanguineum that I dipped out on at the recording weekend and stumbled across this amazing chrysalis of a Silver-washed Fritillary. I had no idea they were so spectacular. The silver projections look like droplets of liquid metal. I have never come across one of these before. In fact I have never seen the early stages of any of the fritillaries before. I was quite fascinating by it. The droplets, I presume, appear as holes in the chrysalis (disruptive camouflage?) by reflecting the surrounding habitat back at the observer.
If you look at it from the front, it's even stranger!
That was when I noticed it looked like some strange creature hanging upside down. So I flipped the image! What a strange looking thing. It totally eclipsed the fact that we saw the longhorn beetle...
So here is one of the three Pyrrhidium sanguineum that we saw there. This being my 33rd longhorn beetle. Only recorded in Sussex once last year for the first time, it seems it is rapidly colonising Sussex. Smaller than I thought (this one was a really small female, the male ran off!) but stunning all the same.