Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Moths and the Moon

A new arrival last night - this Lunar Marbled Brown. It's always exciting when you see something nestling in the egg boxes which has never been there before. The moth gets its name from the little curved moon on its sumptuously patterned wings. Note that my almost equally beautiful thumb has one too. I used to be fascinated as a child by fingernail moons and still intend to discover one day why we have them.There was a very fine actual Moon last night too, just to complete this lunar trio.
The Lunar Marbled Brown seems to be another species which is extending its range North. Waring, Townsend and Lewington describe the species as well-distributed South of the Wash but more local elsewhere. Interestingly, the two other Marbled Browns are much rarer. The plain old Marbled Brown is local everywhere and the Dusky Marbled Brown is a rare immigrant/possible former resident. A moth ex-pat, although I've never had one paying a nostalgic visit back here.
The Met Office forecast the warmest day of the year so far. I keep wondering if the nice weather will affect the election, not so much in turnout as a feeling that things aren't so bad after all, which could give a point or two to Gordon Brown.


Bennyboymothman said...

Yes looks warm today! hopefully the evening is as cloudy as the day's have been recently.
Despite alot of species having reference to Space and particularly the moon etc (Lunar Thorn, Lunar Underwing, Satellite, Star-wort, Crescent) both of them thoroughly dislike each other.
A bright shining moon is enough to put them off flying as last night proved in my garden with just 11 Moths!! down from 50-100 in previous weeks.
I shall be trapping tonight in woodland and praying for some cloud cover!
All the best

Nyctalus said...

Hello Martin. Having discovered your blog and made brief contact late last year I'm glad to see you survived hibernation and are back on the case. I could well do with brushing up on matters mothy so I look forward to following your stuff through a full season.
Best wishes

MartinWainwright said...

Hi both! That's very interesting Ben. I'm sure that there is a correlation with the Moon, maybe in terms of moths' navigation systems being less disrupted by our lights when God/Nature has got her/his much bigger one in its full glory. Good point about names too. I'm still looking for a really good source of information on the naming of moths. Maybe we'll have to write one...
Great to be back in touch Nyctalus. Don't treat me as an authority, mind (although real experts such as Ben kindly put me right in this Comment section when I err). I've just had a quick look at your excellent Stand and Stare blog and will be over there again soon, and adding it to my link list. The variety of natural life you observe is tremendous! All warm wishes M