Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Pinocchio Moth

The second generation of Snout moths is arriving in the trap at the moment, particularly when I put it in long grass as I did last night. They make me smile, with their curiously long, upturned palps, which give them their name. These are used for feeding and perhaps more importantly sensing a range of things, which may help the moth to 'steer'. Why one species has such distinctively long ones is one of the many things I have yet to find out about moths. My teetering pile labelled 'Retirement Projects' grows ever larger... The Snout is also distinctively shaped when at rest, with its wings sweeping back like a Vulcan bomber. I was driving down the A1 years ago, when a Vulcan swept low across the road to land at one of the Lincolnshire airfields - Scampton, I think, home of the Red Arrows. So now I know what a whitefly or something similarly-sized must feel like when a Snout moth zooms overhead.

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