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Northumberland Diary Discussion: 22 August 2012

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Northumberland Diary. Entry 222.

Go to latest contribution by John Richards, 02 September 2012, 10:20. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 25 August 2012, 08:31top / bottom of page

John - as someone who deliberately introduced a species of hogweed into the garden (in the interests of learning about umbellifers I have to say), it is nice to find someone else with a certain admiration for them! I have an old textbook from the late 1800's which refers to hogweed and mentions that 118 species of insect were recorded visiting the flowers - surely an entomologists dream! I wonder how many other plants are quite so non-specific in attracting pollinators? It is also quite interesting to compare within the family because some genera, like Bupleurum, are especially attractive to flies (because of the design of the individual flowers) and I have watched Angelica gigas covered in wasps (maybe because it flowers later at a time when wasps are out and about looking for fruit?). It opens up a new perspective on flowers that I remember from one of your fascinating talks on pollination.

Contribution from Ron Mudd 25 August 2012, 20:45top / bottom of page

Love your approach to the garden John. Surely a wildlife haven.

If I may mention however, the Poplar Hawk, Laothoe populi, does not feed as it has a non functioning proboscis. It is therefore not attracted to Honeysuckle by scent or anything else to do with it finding food. It is reasonably strongly attracted to light however.

Honeysuckle ia a great plant for the nectaring of other Hawkmoths ( and many others ) however.

Contribution from John Richards 02 September 2012, 10:20top / bottom of page
hawk moths

Thank you Ron, you have added to my limited store of wisdom! I have (once) found a Poplar Hawk in the garden, but I guess the sphingids I have seen on the honeysuckle at dusk were Elephant Hawks, which we certainly do get.

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