Autumn is arriving. If we didn't know that from the uneasy weather and first loose leaves drifting down, then the trap is a reminder. On cue, the moths of early autumn are arriving, among them three of these handsome but furtive Black Rustics. The moth is welcomely distinctive; the bulk of each night's catch at the moment is still largely brown, increasingly frayed and battered and more often than not with a yellow underwing. The Black Rustic is dark but glossy and, if you look carefully, subtly patterned. The second one has had an encounter with a bird or bramble, I think, rather than a slight variation in its creamy-gold 'eyelid' marking.
It is also the season of the lazy wasps. I am tempted to squash them all underfoot when I empty the trap because they are so helpless and I share most people's instinctive association of wasps with stings. But it is years and years since I was stung by a wasp, and Penny has found an oil which stops them licking our garden furniture to construct their nests. So I think virtuously: what have they done to me? And let them go, along with the moths.
Stop Press: Thanks to Worm's Comment, I've checked back down the posts and, lo and behold, I reported the Black Rustic on 14 September last year and 14 September the year before (see Comments by clicking below). Yo, this is real science. What a reliable insect. I've changed the title of this post from Small Dark Stranger as a result.