Saturday, 5 June 2010

The very sleepy caterpillar

Here's an unexpected turn of events. The other day, I couldn't dislodge one of the Poplar Hawks into a safe, gloomy spot beneath a shrub to keep it concealed from the birds. It was clinging too tenaciously to the eggbox and I didn't want to damage it. So I tucked the whole box inside the loquat tree, which I mention a couple of posts below, and forgot about it until this morning when I was tidying things up after last night's trapping. When I went to retrieve it, the Poplar Hawk was long gone, but in its place was this dozing caterpillar (above). I will try to identify it - Waring, Townsend and Lewington have some caterpillar pictures - but if anyone beats me to it, then many thanks.

The moth catch meanwhile was excellent and varied. Trapping last night was a bit of an experiment as we had a tropical monsoon in the early evening and everything was soaking when I finally stirred myself at 11pm. The air was like being in a sauna when someone has upended the entire contents of the bucket on the coals. Still, the forecast was for a dry night thereafter so I turned on the lamp and we went to bed after admiring its glow diffused through countless drops of evaporating moisture. Lo and behold, the late-night moths were out and here are some of them (pictured from the top, right): a Buff Ermine, a Golden Y (Plain or Beautiful?
I will try to decide later unless, again, someone does it for me); a Blood Vein; and two which I will enjoy identifying later via Messrs W,T & L. Unless... A little later: I think the bottom one is a Brown Silver-line, one of those unfortunate moths whose namers were suffering from exhausted imaginations when they Christened it. I'm also going for Plain Golden Y, and Common Rustic for the dark but richly-patterned moth. No - that last one's a Dusky Brocade, I'm now sure. I briefly hoped that it might be a Confused, one of my favourite moth names, along with the Uncertain. However I am now certain..

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