Saturday, 3 March 2012

Marching on

I said that I would probably run the trap again at last this week, and I have. And I have been rewarded too by - guess what? A March moth. How apt. Here he is, a purposeful-looking chap with a nice patterning in this season's gently understated colours. He? Yes, there's no doubt about that because see what the poor female March moth looks like - below on the right.

Oh dear. It's a reversal of the average human couple where, for example, Penny has the elegant slenderness while I am tending inexorably to the portly round the waist, just like the female MM. My moth Bible says: "Females can be seen climbing tree trunks at night and found at rest in the bark early in the morning." Takes all sorts.

Also in the trap was this lovely Herald, above; a herald of Spring, I hope, and it is indeed very mild during the day. And, below, a Satellite moth whose patterning, acting so well as camouflage here that the hindwings seem almost to melt into the stone, always makes me happy. There's a little flying saucer on each wing with two attendants, very like those alien craft you have to shoot down so quickly in Space Invaders. Below below, I've put them in close-up.

Finally, the last of the seven moths which came to the light in temperatures hovering around freezing, were all Chestnuts, I think, in various states of dilapidation and various tones of colouring. Here's one, right. I may be wrong about them as they come into the category called Small Brown Moths Which MW Hasn't Time To Sort Out But Will, in which case apologies.

I've also found a chrysalis while cleaning the greenhouse. So although it's very early in the year to be mothing (for me), it's all go.


Jane said...

it is wonderful that you are mothing, I found my first moth of the year , a dotted border , about a week ago on the bathroom window, and saw my first painted lady of the year on thursday, I wonder if it is a sign of good weather to come, spring is around a month early here,

looking forward to all your lovely finds this year

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Jane! Great to hear from you and thanks v much for your nice message. I hope you are well and making lots of observations of your own. I'm surprised and delighted by how many moths are on the wing at what, for me, is a terribly early time of the year. I'm trying to keep my posts succinct but not succeeding. All warmest wishes, Martin