Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Wear and tear

I imagine we all feel a bit old and worn at times. Do we show it as evidently as this pair of visitors to the trap seem to do? Moths and butterflies seldom live long - a few weeks - apart from the small number of hardy species in the UK which hibernate as adults. Those are exceptional in seeing a spring as well as autumn, whereas I am  about to clock up sixty of both. Penny and I watched a good TV 'drama-documentary' the other night, about a wartime Spitfire pilot. Today's moths remind me of his plane after one near-disastrous sortie. Riddled with bullet-holes and torn ragged at the edges of its wings, it still flew.  I've seen plenty of moths and butterflies with hardly a coloured scale left on their wings and great chunks cut out which can do the same. It sometimes affects their performance but they can still scramble as effectively as any fighter squadron did in 1940. These two have avoided the worst, in terms of losing bits, but their glory has gone. What are they? The bigger one is a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing; its companion needs some homework or a kindly and more knowledgable helper. Worm..?
Later: check out Comments for all (including my mistake re the yellow underwing) to be revealed...


Bennyboymothman said...

Hi Martin.
Yes I am getting 'summer straggler's' around about now, some very worn like your pair.
They can create a nightmare identification process too!

You have a Large Yellow Underwing and a Shuttle-shaped Dart.


worm said...

I am but a dabbler in the world of moths!!! So far my superficial knowledge of our Saturniidae chums only really covers the 'celebrities' such as the hawks. Little brown jobs remain a mystery to me! Mr BBMothman seriously knows his onions!!

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks ever so much Ben. How you can tell the SSD, I will never know!
He is indeed an Expert of Experts, W. Check out his blog!

Touts bon de la France