Rare Insects of Viper's Bugloss

01 June 2020 | Posted in Barry Yates , Rye Harbour , 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. 

Vipers Bugloss

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.

Vipers Bugloss 2

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.

Weevil Mogulones geographicus

Ethmia terminella - more details here.

Ethmia terminella 6072539

Ethimia bipunctella - more details here.

Vipers B insects Ethmia bipunctella

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!

Starry Pearl