While running down to the reedbed this morning, I had to stop when I noticed a young Mullein plant with black specks on it. Ah – I thought – what if it’s frass from the caterpillars of the rare Lychnis Moth? Took a closer look, but it wasn’t frass at all.
The specks were ink-black droplets, loads of them around the upper half of the plant. I reached between the leaves to investigate, and uncovered a colony of bugs covering the plant. They’d obviously been having some sort of orgy, slurping away on the juices of the mullein. Juice leaking from the many bug stab-wounds and had turned black.
copyright © 2008 Jason P Ball