Friday, March 26, 2010
LINDSAY SELBY: Biodiversity Work
Some of you know my daughter is studying in Wales on a project looking at biofuels. They are using Elephant grass (Miscanthus), which can be grown on waste ground so won't take up valuable crop space. The plants are about 8 feet (2.6 metres ) high when fully grown. There has been a lot of talk about how it can affect biodiversity. The plants attract lots of spiders who spin their webs across the top. On one of the examinations of the plants, Michal, a Polish member of the team, found a chrysalis and in case the spiders ate it, rescued it and brought it back to the lab. It hatched out to the beautiful creature in the photos. It has been getting fed and hand-reared but is now, I believe, released back into the fields. So I think that answers the biodiversity question; the local insect life love the plants.
JON: It is a hawkmoth, but which species? I think large elephant, but I will be the first to admit that I have never been good at identifying them.