Raspberry Clearwing at Friston Forest!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday 11 August 2010 18:00

Check out this awesome moth, it's a Raspberry Clearwing, an excellent example of Batesian mimicry and was found by Mike Edwards today during the last part of our Friston Forest invertebrate survey. This is one of the few clearwings that does not develop inside wood, rather  in the stems of Raspberry.  I previously misidentified it as Six-belted Clearwing but the fact that it has only two veins running through the clear patch at the end of the wing is diagnostic. This species only appeared in the UK a few years ago and it was probably imported in Raspberry canes but no one in is sure if it was just over-looked. This is only the second site for this species in Sussex, the first being a site in Bexhill and is therefore  first for me and although I saw a clearwing very close to this spot on the last visit to Friston Forest that I could not catch and ID, it was definitely not a Raspberry Clearwing though and will remain a mystery.

We also saw several Woodland Grasshoppers, another nationally scarce (Nb) species. It's quite variable but the most striking form is mostly black with a red abdomen. However, it's the white palps that clinch this species but I'm afraid I couldn't photograph them. The palps are really easy to see in a live specimen though. 
Finally, for comedy value, here is an early instar larvae of the amazing Pale Tussock. I'm sure these used to be on Fraggle Rock.
Another survey wrapped up for the year, I can't wait for the report.

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