Friday, 15 July 2011

Where's the moth?

Moths are masters of camouflage and here is a Marbled Beauty to give us a lesson. Now you see it - below. Now you don't, or hardly - above. It's also a moth with a fondness for old buildings according to the experts; presumably plenty of crumbling plaster and flaking window frames can help it to hide.

This morning's other little star is this beautiful Tortrix moth, a micro which deserves the term as my special Penny Wainwright Pencil Scale shows. After much Google-imaging, I am pretty sure that it is Acleris forsskaleana whose surname intrigued me, so I clicked and Wiki-ed on.

It's worth reading the entry on Pehr Forsskal, whose name was given to the moth by Linnaeus himself, who also Christened a plant after the young Finn because it was similarly tenacious and stubborn. Forskkal seems to have been an all-round good egg, writing a Treatise on Civil Liberty which the Swedish authorities promptly suppressed. Here's a Wiki-pic of him looking tenacious but nice. What on earth would the moth make of all this?


Bennyboymothman said...

Thanks for the extra information about Acleris forsskaleana, you learn something new every day!

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Ben!

Well, I learn a lot from you!

I'm fascinated by the names/ There is a book about them but it's very expensive and you can mostly track things down on Google.

Maybe you'll have a moth named after you one day. I will definitely back such a proposal

all warm wishes as ever