Aug 222013

Cheque Ceremony
Sue’s trip reports are always excellent and her post of our visit to Rainham is a good example. However she missed out what I thought were two highlights of the day. The first highlight was Jeff handing over a cheque to Sally as payment for his Pulborough coach trip tickets. Enough said! Book your tickets NOW. Jeff must know something.

The second highlight (for me) was finding a weevil (beetle) gall on sea plantain growing on the Thames shore at Rainham. The weevils should have left the stem gall by now but not all of them make it – some are attacked and eaten by the larva of a parasitic wasp. When I opened one of the galls on Saturday  it contained the pupa of the tiny wasp. This stays in the stem, attached to the plant on the shore, all winter. It does not emerge and fly until next spring – by which time the weevils, that have overwintered “somewhere” else, have come back, laid eggs and their larvae are ready for the wasps to attack again. How could Sue have not included this in her post? Malcolm

Parasitic wasp pupa inside stem,

Parasitic wasp pupa inside stem,

Swollen stem gall

Swollen stem gall – photographed Cliffe in July

 Posted by on 22 August 2013 at 10:17 pm