Rare Insects of Viper's Bugloss

11 June 2017 | Posted in Insects
Rare Insects of Viper's Bugloss
Viper's Bugloss

Trying to maintain viable populations of rare insects is often challenging, but when the insect depends on a single species of plant it can become relatively simple. Create the right conditions for the plant and the rare insects should thrive. In the case of Viper's Bugloss at Rye Harbour there are four rare insects: a weevil and three micro-moths. The plant enjoys a shingle / sand mix that is occasionally disturbed. So rabbits, people and shingle moving lorries provide opportunities for the plant, especially along the road that runs through the Beach Reserve.

These tiny animals will be overlooked by 99.9% of our visitors, but it is these and our other 200+ rare species that guide the management of the habitats in our nature reserve.

Echium vulgare has the common name of Viper's Bugloss - Bu = Ox, Gloss = Tongue from shape of the leaves, but why Viper's, well it could be the speckled stem, or the forked tongue (stigma) or the seed looks like a snakes head, or the flower stem uncurls upward like a snake, but nobody really knows!

Mogulones geographicus - see its range here.

Ethmia terminella - more details here.

Ethimia bipunctella - more details here.

Cynaeda dentalis - more details here - and this one even has a common name, the Starry Pearl, but we don't have a photo of its caterpillar!