This is a great picture taken by JH of probably male Chalkhill Blues perched on a dog turd on the Downs this week. Quite a few species of butterfly are attracted to fresh dung. They obtain moisture but also salts and amino acids, which are needed for successful reproduction. JW
Records are needed for the Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina americana) in Sussex. This photo was taken on a visit to a lavender farm in Surrey recently but the beetle is said to be in Sussex now, having spread from London, where it was first discovered in the UK in 1994. Native to eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region, it is thought to have been imported on plants such as Rosemary, Lavender and Thyme. The adults are very shiny with metallic green wing cases embellished with purple stripes but they cannot fly. Both larvae and adults feed on flowers and leaves of Lavender. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends getting rid of them by hand picking and stamping on them. If you find any please let us know and we will pass on the details to the Sussex beetle recorder.
If you have thymes or corn mint in the garden, there are good odds that here in Plumpton you may have this little brightly coloured moth , the Common Purple and Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis). It’s easy to spot − about the size of a 5p piece. The caterpillars draw together the leaves of its
foodplants to form a shelter.