Saturday, 30 August 2008

Drying out

I didn't know moths could swim, until yesterday. I don't suppose they can do it for long, but there was one in the bath zooming around like Rebecca Adlington, only not in such straight lines. I fished it out and was interested to see that it then adopted this butterfly pose - wings high above the back which moths very seldom do - presumably to make it easier to dry out. The second, smaller picture, shows a sideways view.
I think it's a Rustic of some kind. Your dead average brown, boring moth. Penny and I were on a marvellous excursion, launching A Good Year for Blossom, a collection of Guardian Country Diaries by women (ideal Christmas present etc, see link to books...thanks). We stayed at the former home of one of the diarists Gwen McBryde, Dippersmoor Manor, near Hereford. It is now an outstanding B&B with marvellous hosts Hexie and Amanda Millais (H is the great-grandosn of the celebrated artist). Go there! The third pic is of a pretty litte Magpie moth which also lives at Dippersmoor.


Norman said...

Hi Martin
I've used a pherenome trap this year, which has water at the bottom of it. I have caught Currant Clearwing and Yellow-legged Clearwing - both beautiful little creatures. They seem to swim but rest quite happily on the water surface but seem unable to take off again once they have landed. A couple poor things were floating on their backs but seemed not to come to any harm as they quickly flew off after being rescued by my finger.
Although you say Red Admirals are very common I haven't seen a single one this year despite checking the buddleias in the garden and their favourite places in the woods.
Yes there are a lot of dragonflies around near the canal. This year seems a particularly good year for them, I even had a Brown Hawker in my moth trap a few weeks ago. It gave me quite a start when this large prehistoric creature fell out on to the floor.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your Red Admirals - and to be so late in replying. It's 11 September now and the Red Admirals are swarming away here. Just needs the sunshine to bring them out. Interesting about the Clearwings and the dragonflies. Moths are so light, I guess quite a few can land on water and not break the surface tension. But as you say, take-off is another matter...