Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Washed out

Back in action with the trap at last, and I was expecting a miserable catch. Since Sunday, it's been wet, cold and generally the sort of weather which prompts the question: 'Who'd be a moth in Leeds?' Plenty of them, is the answer. Moths are above all seasonal, now is the start of their high season - here at any rate - and there were well over 100 dozing away in the eggboxes. For someone still in full time work, this means a temporary end to proper science. I haven't time to record more than 100 moths, alas. But a big, fresh-looking Poplar Hawk was in there, a Footman moth (more on them anon), plenty of Daggers and yellow underwings (which creep right into the eggbox 'pyramids' and are impossible to photograph), a Barred Red and much more. It's also the time of the Emerald moths, which I like. Here is a Light Emerald, seen from sideways in its eggy domain, plus a small one of another which settled on the inside of the trap's big plastic bowl. Emerald is a bit of a misnomer with this particular moth, I agree. But they can't be blamed in current circumstances for looking a bit washed out. Actually, like most green moths, their colour always fades rapidly after hatching. Green is more prone to this than any other colour, so far as insects are concerned. I will try to find out why.

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