This weekend saw what was almost certainly the last outside cooking event and the last mothing session of the year.
For our outside cooking, we set the tripod up near the pond and it was completely delicious in a way that the same food would have tasted very ordinary if cooked and eaten inside. It really was pretty cold though and its really very difficult to eat with gloves on.
I was in two minds whether or not to set up the moth trap for one last hurrah but, having decided it was not worth it, had a last minute change of heart and set it up in the orchard just as it started to drizzle. By the morning, though, we had collected a few moths, and also a green lacewing and a couple of the same type of parasitic wasp so it had all been worthwhile.
I have never caught a lacewing in a moth trap before which actually is surprising since I remember often seeing them as a child drawn to a lighted window. I did some basic research on them and discovered that there are 14 species of green lacewing and about 29 species of brown lacewing in the UK but they don’t seem to have the lovely field guides to distinguish them like you can get for butterflies and moths. They are a bit of a specialist area. However, I have now ordered a book that might help – Insects of Britain and Western Europe third edition (field guide) by Michael Chinery. Hopefully this will include some of the more obscure insects like lacewings and parasitic wasps as well as butterflies and moths. It said it did anyway. I will report back when it arrives.
One thing everyone seems to agree on though is that the lacewing is the gardeners friend with their appetite for aphids and there was much talk of being able to buy lacewing eggs to hatch in your greenhouse as a biological control.