… is generally queuing up outside my kitchen window of an evening, treating us like some kind of beastie Truman Show or Big Brother. We’re quite the centre of attention around these parts.
Beastie number 1, identified by myself, is the Giant Peacock Moth.
This beast, with its huge wingspan (look at the 2€ coin for comparison!) was at least as big as my hand. Find out more about these beasties at the most excellent Days on the Claise blog.
Took me about 20 minutes of research to find it, and then I found it in the old posts of Days on the Claise, which I follow vociferously. I am a very amateur identifier of flora, fauna and insect life, but I’m keen to learn. I want to know what’s out there watching me.
The second beastie was much more difficult to identify. Steve said there was a beast at the window with huge eyelashes. I thought he was joking, like we say a spider is so big we can see its hairy legs.
It really did look like it’d raided my make-up box and stolen my falsies.
This strange looking beastie was identified by my lovely friend Liz, who should have been studying but released her amateur entomologist and found it on the Internet. I believe it’s a male May beetle or cockchafer (I’ve just released my inner Finbarr Saunders) – known in France as le hanneton apparently – and with its love of big eyelashes, it kind of puts Eddie Izzard to shame. My funny tranny beetle.
At first, I thought it was a variegated June bug – but they’re a New World thing, so this little fella seems like my best guess, being found in France. I looked at a couple of other species, but they were either speckled and more black. It’s just a common cockchafer.
However, these beasts eat plant roots like nobody’s business and are considered a pest, which is a shame because it’s very, very beautiful. They live in cycles of three or four years, so you only see them every so often.
I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, and I’ll update accordingly!