Saturday, February 5, 2011

Going Undergrond for the Winter or coming out After a Hot Summer Ready for Love

It's late night ( well early morning ) and I've been working on a presentation for the 2011 BCRA Cave Science symposium which we're hosting in Cardiff University in March.

In doing that I have had a need to look through quite a few of my caving pictures and I came across these old friends 

In late August we went underground in a local cave to look at some old archaeological digs that were done by the Cardiff Naturalists Society in the 1800's Whilst there we were treated to the sight of a couple of local inhabitants that had taken up residence.

Before you get ideas of bearded hermits here are a couple of pictures of the creatures in question. 

The first is the Tissue moth (Triphosa dubitata) who overwinter in caves in order to undergo a period of diapause (suspended development).  This is apparently necessary for the successful production of viable eggs in the following year

The second is the golden caddis fly Stenophylax permistus  who stay in caves in the summer to undergo a similar period of rest or diapause.

Both of these pictures were taken in early August 2010 when the weather was still nice and autumn hadn't really set in so I guess they were both just enjoying a cool dark place for a rest like we were. They were both taken with the E-30 and 14-54mm  lens which is great for getting up close to insects if they are nice and dormant like these two were.

The pictures are both lit with a single FL-36 flash on a CB-05 extension cord to be able to put a shadow across the insect otherwise pictures like this look misty and flat because of the levels of moisture in caves. 

Another moth that does the overwintering is the Herald Moth featured in an earlier post

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