Pete Eeles

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bugboy
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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby bugboy » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:13 pm

My you have been a busy boy... or should that be dad :lol:

Does this news mean that there will be a tiny parasitic wasp going by the name eeles soon?
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Padfield » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:14 pm

Quite staggering sequences. You're in a class of your own, Pete!

How about Cotesia eelesii? Pete won't be able to name it himself, but if the authors did choose to recognise him in perpetuity I think it would be a very well deserved honour.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:47 pm

Thanks David, Paul, Guy!

If I have any say, the wasp won't be named after me! I'd much rather that any moniker were in recognition of my inspiration for the Chequered Skipper study - so perhaps Cotesia ravenscroftii :) Anyway - if it is a new species - the chaps at the BMNH will name it and describe it; I suspect that a formal paper will be written announcing the new species, where I may get a mention!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Mark Tutton » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:20 pm

Well Pete not only have you been busy but your contribution is fantastic and worth the significant gap in your diary. It just shows that citizen science is alive and well and with a bit (well quite a lot actually) of effort there is still a lot to be discovered by simple but detailed observation. I await the wasp naming and description with interest.
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Mark
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Vince Massimo
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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Vince Massimo » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:48 pm

Brilliant work, as ever, Pete :D. I am struggling to observe and document just one species at the moment.
When you go quiet, it's usually a sign that some special photos will soon appear or a new discovery is announced.
In this case, it's both.

I look forward to seeing the full set of images when you make your customary download into the Species Albums.

Vince

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Wurzel » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:35 pm

Congrats on your find Pete, do you get royalties from that :wink: A stunning sequence of 'development' shots, my personal fave was the Gatekeeper (still feels weird not calling it Hedge Brown) with a nice set of stripes rather than spots :D

Have a goodun

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby David M » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:54 pm

Good effort, Pete. Your hard work studying the 'lesser lights' of the lifecycle is paying off in a tangible way.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:38 pm

Thanks Mark, Vince, Wurzel, David!

Pamber Forest
It's been a while since I checked up on the White Admiral larvae I'm monitoring at Pamber Forest, but am so glad I did! We have quite a spectrum of progress, ranging from 2 that are still in their hibernacula (3rd instar), 3 out of their hibernacula and now feeding (3rd instar) and a very early 4th instar larva!

IMG_2182.jpg
3rd instar larva still in hibernaculum

IMG_2183.jpg
3rd instar larva - out of feeding

IMG_2172.jpg
4th instar larva


I also found quite a few Orange-tip and Brimstone eggs - the Spring has been amazing!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:06 pm

Not much of an update - just some random photos of relatively-interesting items taken over the last few weeks since my last update!

First off, a trip to the Isle of Wight allowed me to find numerous final instar Glanville larvae - some "chines" were very productive!

2.jpg

4.jpg

3.jpg
A disused larval web


I also managed to get a closeup of a Comma egg a couple of weeks back:

1.jpg


And, today, I saw my first ever Small Heath pupa - quite exquisite for a "little brown job" :)

IMG_2697.jpg


And, finally, the first photo of an adult butterfly I've taken this year (although I've taken over 600 photos of immature stages so far this year)! A newly-emerged male Grizzled Skipper at Greenham Common:

IMG_2658.jpg
Male Grizzled Skipper


Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Wurzel » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:25 pm

Sounds like positive news from the Isle of Black Pete, hopefully there will be bucketfuls of Glannies this year :D The Small Heath pupa really is beautifully marked 8)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Padfield » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:26 pm

That comma egg is exquisite, Pete, and as for the small heath pupa ...

Fantastic pictures.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby David M » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:04 pm

That Small Heath pupa is beyond 'exquisite', Pete. I never realised they were so beautiful.

I really AM going to have to concentrate more on these early stages. I'm sure there are jewels out there just waiting to be discovered.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:28 pm

Thanks all! I've not posted for a while; a combination of work, and ensuring that all livestock is well cared for. I thought I'd post some "highlights" since I'm sure they'll be of interest to most UKB members. My proudest moments, however, are when I release this lot back from whence they came (unless they are from captive-reared stock). All of the images and associated information (I'm learning one heck of a lot, despite it being exhausting!) will feed into "Project Frohawk", of course.

1.jpg
Grizzled Skipper egg with head of larva showing

2.jpg
The amazing camouflage of a final-instar White-letter Hairstreak larva

3.jpg
A final instar Black Hairstreak larva. Note the white head. Just moulted, with incredible colours!

4.jpg
Final instar Purple Hairstreak larva

5.jpg
Final instar Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary larva

6.jpg
Final instar Grayling larva - taken at night!

7.jpg
Wall pupa - it's a girl!

8.jpg
A rarely-seen Gatekeeper pupa - very different from other "Satyrids"

9.jpg
2nd or 3rd instar Small Blue larva - inside a floret of Kidney Vetch


Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Padfield » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:34 pm

Frohawk is looking down on you and smiling, Pete. His work is being continued.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:36 am

Hi Pete

These are all amazing, but the Black Hairstreak caterpillar and Wall pupa are amongst the best (which include your Chequered Skipper pupa) and most fascinating images ever to appear on UKB.

A book focusing entirely on the early stages of British butterflies may at first sound rather limited in appeal, but you are systematically showing that these are things of real beauty, and surely worthy of a lavish publication. In years to come, once even more ground has been covered, I hope you might consider this.

BWs, Neil

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pauline » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:34 am

Smashing images of the early stages Pete. When do you expect your WLH and PH to emerge?

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:39 pm

Neil Hulme wrote:Hi Pete

These are all amazing, but the Black Hairstreak caterpillar and Wall pupa are amongst the best (which include your Chequered Skipper pupa) and most fascinating images ever to appear on UKB.

A book focusing entirely on the early stages of British butterflies may at first sound rather limited in appeal, but you are systematically showing that these are things of real beauty, and surely worthy of a lavish publication. In years to come, once even more ground has been covered, I hope you might consider this.

BWs, Neil


Thanks for the kind words, Neil! Funny you should mention a book ... although it's a couple of years away yet since there are still quite a few gaps to be filled. But I have bounced the idea off a publisher that you might know and he liked it :D If it weren't for our very own Andy Brown then I may not even have thought of bringing Frohawk up to date.

The Black Hairstreak larvae were amazing. I've reared them before in captivity but, this time, didn't use any "sleeve" to protect them from predation (including from Great Tits that were nesting in our nest box about 20 feet away) and learned one heck of a lot as a result. Despite the appearance of the larva in the photo, I didn't realise just how camouflaged these larvae are when sitting at the tip of a recently-unfurled Blackthorn sprig, the only leaves that they consumed (despite a whole bush being available).

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:46 pm

Pauline wrote:Smashing images of the early stages Pete. When do you expect your WLH and PH to emerge?


Thanks Pauline! Unfortunately, the White-letters are my first casualty since, like yours, they emerged at least 3 weeks before they should have, so I consider this a failure, despite the eggs being kept in the coldest place in our garage. The majority of final instar larvae (a dozen or so) were released, together, on a local elm (we seem to have quite a few round here - the more I look, the more I find!). One observation on that front is that trees that don't push out flowers come into leaf much earlier (and I'm talking 2 or 3 weeks earlier) than their counterparts that do (and will send relevant information to Jamie Burston in Sussex BC next year on this phenomenon as part of his studies). I think this is significant. If it weren't for the non-flowering elms, then I wouldn't have found the leaves the larvae needed but, more importantly, I think this might have implications for the conservation of this species.

The Purple Hairstreak (raised from a single egg) is almost in sync with those in the wild, but also ahead to some degree. The final instar larva was also released a while ago, so I didn't get to see the adult.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Matsukaze » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:03 pm

Completely amazing. Lovely images.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pauline » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:06 pm

Thanks for your comprehensive reply Pete. I'm just a little bit paranoid that my PH are going to emerge a bit too early as they pupated a little while ago and are starting to darken. I'm kind of hoping that if the PE is early this year (as predicted) then perhaps the PH will also be early. Really just want to get it right but what can you do? Like your WLH they have been outside the whole time :?


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