Thursday, 28 August 2008

A cheerful end to August

Hooray - an interesting end to August. A Phoenix moth appeared in the trap this morning. I'm still researching the reason for the name, but it's a step bigger than the Carpet moths which have similar wing patterns, and altogether grander. In the course of Googling just now, I came across an American poet who has hymned the moth - see These insects get everywhere. My Phoenix lit off pretty quickly once the trap was open, but if you click on my pic, you can detect its odd habit of resting with the back of its body arched up.

Only the male does this - a good example (of which the animal world furnishes countless others) for writers on gender studies. I've filched these two smaller pics from Wikipedia because they show the practice much more strikingly than I have managed to do. Isn't the little blue hole in the bottom one excellent? Many thanks Wiki-world, as ever.
PS The little creature examining the Phoenix is one of a horde of micro moths which currently infest the trap. They actually outnumber the various yellow underwings.


D. Allen Sherman said...

I am pleased that you enjoyed my words in "The Phoenix Moth", but I must confess when I wrote the piece I had NO IDEA that there actually was a moth by that name! Romantically speaking, I have ever been a moth drawn to flame. I have just as consistently risen from my own ashes only to do the same again and yet again, hence the Phoenix. Ergo, I am the Phoenix Moth!
As a self proclaimed "tree-Hugger" for years though, I am thrilled at whatever happy coincidence led me to your site. I am richer for it, and I thank you. I'll send along any pics of Florida species which might be of interest. Be well, Mothman!

MartinWainwright said...

Hi and thanks very much - i'd be delighted with any moth pics you find. Thanks for getting in touch - the web's a wonderful thing. The explosion of knowledge is marvellous as are all the unexpected international links. All v best for now and all power to your pen (or mouse and keyboard) M