Low Burnhall is a Woodland Trust reserve just south of Durham city, with new tree planting to link up fragments of ancient woodland. It will take a while to produce a continuous woodland canopy but in the meantime the existing woodland and large areas of open grassland are home to a wide range of interesting insects species.
Our best find on this visit was this handsome wasp beetle, Clytus arietis, an amazing example of mimicry. It not only looks like a wasp, it moves like a wasp too, with the same jerky walk. No sting, perfectly harmless. Breeds in decaying wood - we found it close to the rotting fallen branches of an old willow.
Our visit coincided with the hatching of scores of five-spot burnet moths.
..... and hatched five-spot burnet cocoons
Newly emerged five-spot burnets mating
Possibly the shortest courtship ever - these two five-spot burnets emerged simultaneously from the upper and lower cocoon and mated immediately
There were plenty of newly-emerged ringlet butterflies around. They even fly in light rain.
A very unlucky large skipper, caught by a spider. Maybe the two froghoppers will be luckier when they emerge from their cuckoo spit.
The caterpillar of the Timothy tortrix moth Aphelia paleana, which feeds on a wide range of plants including docks and plantains, as well as Timothy grass. Thanks to Colin Duke for identifying this for me, via the excellent iSpot web site
A capsid bug - I think this is the cock'sfoot bug Leptopterna dolobrata
A sawfly, which I think is a Tenthredo species , feeding on buttercup nectar
Forest shieldbug, Pentatoma rufipes, on an oak leaf.
Kentish snail Monacha cantiana, found inside a curled-up hogweed leaf. Thanks to Martyn John Bishop and Steve Gregory for identifying this for me, also via the excellent iSpot web site