Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Herald of Summer

Exactly four months ago, I featured this lovely moth under the headline Herald of Spring. Now here it is back again, announcing the imminent August holidays. By chance, I decanted it from its eggbox on to a red towel and then it took off and landed on a geranium. Hence the gaudy backdrops.

The Herald is one of the great stayers among UK moths. Hatching in July, it flies until the cold weather comes in late autumn and then tucks up and hibernates for the winter. Back in March, I chattered about this practice, and two days later found a specimen snoozing in our garden shed. Springtime sees it on the wing again and then the cycles starts anew. It couldn't happen to a nicer moth.

As for this tiny creature, I can proudly announce that it is Blastobasis lacticolella, a foreign micro moth which has established itself here. Not to everyone's joy because if it gets into your larder, it will nibble away. You can see from the eggbox print how small it is. I almost missed it. My unusual confidence in its identity comes from the fact that Charlie Fletcher, our county moth recorder, kindly nailed it for me while also sorting out the Garden Pebble moth.

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