Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Bright or Brown

I've reflected before on the number of brown moths in Britain. Now that the evenings are often warm, you can see them on the wing, flying faster and more jinkily than butterflies because of their larger and presumably more powerful bodies, and smaller wings. If you get close enough, or one stays still long enough - the great advantage of the dopiness induced by the light trap - you can see how subtle the 'brown' really is. This visitor (above) is the Bright Line Brown Eye, although this particular specimen has a whiter second eye than most and might be more accurately be called the Bright Line Brown and White Eyes. Moths are very variable. I just checked that I'd got the words of its name in the right order and found that I hadn't. The index in my book said Brown Line Bright Eye. But then, unusually for a journalist, I double-checked and found that I was right after all.

There is both a Bright Line Brown Eye and a Brown Line Bright Eye - pictured right, brilliantly camouflaged, courtesy of a very good website called www.vc66.co.uk which seems to be run by someone on Teesside called Me. Both the BLBEs are common, but the other one has not yet called here in Leeds.

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