Saturday, 23 April 2011
The first in my 10km box
Here's a pretty moth which made a change from the pugs, drabs, quakers and Hebrew characters which are the staple inhabitants of the trap at this time of year. It's a Streamer, and a modestly distinguished one: the first to be recorded in my 10km square bit of the UK according to the national carve-up for moth recording.
I only recognised it straight away because we caught one during the Kilburn forest expedition last week, but it's pleasantly distinctive. The little streamers twisting away from the leading edge of the wings give it its name. Waring and Townsend observe that 'some examples have a violet tint when freshly emerged, and as you can see, this is indeed the case.
Not so easy to pin down is this little pug, even with the unusually tight focussing I somehow achieved in the picture above. Charlie Fletcher, our county recorder who told me about my Streamer's distinction, queries my suggestion that it is the simple Common Pug and suspects that it may be the rarer Golden-rod Pug. But the only way to be sure, he emails, is to check out its wedding tackle. this is a step too far for me, and I'm afraid the name Golden-rod, which clearly might help, has nothing to do with the subject but refers to the caterpillars' food plant.