Sunday, 29 May 2011

Caterpillar Masterclass

This weekend we had a 'Caterpillar Masterclass' up at Brede High Woods, hosted by Dr Patrick Roper, an expert entomologist.
 

We met in the car park just off the B2089.

where Patrick demonstrated how to use nets for catching bugs and caterpillars

including how to get a closer look at the bugs you've caught!

There was also this neat gadget, which folds out...


and then you can hold it under a branch you're knocking on, to see what falls out of it:

Anyway, we all had a great morning wandering round the woods looking for bugs...



We did find caterpillars, and other things too, like pupae:

eggs

and a Hazel Leaf Roller:

There were lots of opportunities for us to stop and quiz Patrick, and several group members had useful knowledge on a range of wildlife subjects.

I think Patrick's highlight of the day was not a caterpillar or bug, but this Bird's-nest Orchid, as it was the first time he'd seen one - the rest of us had never even heard of them! Although it looks like it's dead, it's not - it just hasn't got any chlorophyll, and lives by taking nutrients from a host plant, via a mycorrhizal fungus.

Anyway, don't forget to check out the Sussex BC website, where future events are advertised: www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/events.html

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