Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A wave of waves

Let's wave at the Waves, a pretty family of moths whose arrival signals pleasant things such as the summer solstice, midsummer's day and the like. I was too sleepy to take much note of the shortest night of 2011, but the moths were certainly out enjoying it. It was drizzling this morning but the trap contained several hundred slumberers, including two Elephant Hawks, two Green Arches, a nice Buff Ermine and far too many mind-taxing brown and grey characters.

The waves are a Single-Dotted and a Riband, at the top and just above. The Single-dotted defies language as it clearly has two dots, as you can see. Maybe I am setting myself up as a twerp by misidentifying it, but I don't think so. Shall we rename it the Double-dotted Wave?

There was also the first Angle Shades of the year, a rakish moth and another of those whose striking wing shape must surely have influenced or at least intrigued aircraft designers. I remember my Mum ringing me up in excitement a couple of years ago when she found one below her porch light and wondered what it was. It would be interesting to see one fly and compare its actions with the mad jerkings of the Large Yellow Underwing. Maybe, one day, when I've got more sophisticated filming techniques.

Finally, can any of my expert readers tell me what on earth this is? An aberration? Or something brown, grey and boring which has met with a flying accident?

Update: Charlie Fletcher, West Yorkshire's county moth recorder, comes to the rescue. It's either a Marble Minor or Tawny Marbled Minor which has got into some kind of trouble and lost its scales. The two species are almost impossible to tell apart - and on that score, see the next post above, about the Engraileds. Even later update: except they're Mottled Beauties... See above. ;)

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