Monday, 23 August 2010
Bedizzened and bedazzened
Two handsome overnighters here, both protected against the light rain which fell by the light trap's excellent rain-shield. Mr and Mrs Robinson, the husband-and-wife entomologists who designed the Robinson Trap were clever people. Also unusual. Moth-studying seems usually to be a passion of one or the other in a couple, though Penny is wondrously encouraging (and indeed gave me both the trap and my moth Bible (Waring, Townsend & Lewington) as birthday presents). As the former chief sub-editor of Cosmopolitan, she also ensure that this reaches you without spelling mistakes and other blunders.
These two moths are a Sallow Kitten and a Gold Spot. The blue thing is a pencil for scale. It is actually quite an interesting pencil as it is made out of recycled denim jeans, but the moths are more interesting. Especially the Gold Spot, whose colouring is dramatic by homely British standards. Why its rather humdrum lifestyle, favouring dampish places with plenty of grasses, should justify this bedizening and bedazening, is a mystery, at least to me. I have added the issue to my stash of questions to try to answer when I have more time.
I dropped the Gold Spot's eggbox which set it a-fluttering, allowing me to take a picture of more of its wings than you can usually see (below). It was preparing for take-off, however, so I couldn't stop the blurring.
I have to say that to my eye, the Sallow looks more like its similar but rarer relation the Poplar Kitten, but I don't think it can be as the latter's flight season ends in July. But I will check with the sage Jax of Yorkshire Butterfly Conservation; or one of my kind expert monitors may comment.