Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Tough cookies

You can see from these first two pictures that the autumn weather is sorting out the men from the boys. Yellow-line Quaker moths like these have got to be tough; they spent last winter as an egg exposed on a tree branch just as their potential offspring will do in the coming months. Then, once mature as a caterpillar, they scrape out a little cavern underground and lie there contemplating for a while before spinning a cocoon and in due course turning into a moth.

This second one is rather more battered but game enough to spend yet another night of drizzle on the lid of the moth trap, finding one of the few dry patches left by overhanging plants. This nice Feathered Thorn, below, had also found a relatively dry spot in an eggbox inside the trap, although you can see from the darker colouring that the rain got into there as well.

It is another species which spends the winter as a tiny but robust egg. I have never gone in for hunting moths's eggs but there are bound to be people who do.

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