Friday, 13 August 2010
Now you know them, now you don't
A rare feat of identification today, plus a complete failure. I have no idea what my very, very last Paxiot find is (above), although I'd guess that it is some sort of locust. Briefly, as it bulleted past us on a donkey track near the deserted village of Kambos Korah, I hoped it might be another hawk moth to go with the Hummingbird ones. But no. It certainly explains the old description of that Austin Healey sports car as the 'bug-eyed Sprite.'
Better results, though, from this Sherlock Holmes-style wafer of paper sent to me by our in-laws, Suri and Radha, who are notable natural history investigators. Suri spent ages stalking a monitor lizard and getting an excellent dragon-style photo of it when we were in Sri Lanka in February, and last time we went to see them near Solihull we had a long, fabulous visit from a Green Woodpecker in their garden. Anyway, Suri found this moth dead and lovingly sent it to me in the paper. Alas, it couldn't withstand the buffetings of the Royal Mail, but using all my forensic expertise, I am fairly sure that it is (was) a Heart and Dart. I append a close-up of the wing which clinched this conclusion. Way back at the beginning of this blog, I wrote about the Heart and Dart (a very common moth here) and even made it the subject of one of the blog's very rare competitions. I got a Comment from a soap shop in New York, also called Heart and Dart, which chuffed me greatly. Ain't the internet a wonderful thing..? as old John Junor of the Sunday Express would have said.