Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mint choc chip

Eminent professors come in groups, like buses or the Fibonacci series of numbers about which I've suddenly become very knowledgeable. So it seems, anyway. Two posts ago I was able to show the lovely Purple Emperor pictures taken by Prof David Colquhoun of University College London. Now Prof Matthew Gandy from the geography department at the same university has emailed.

He was prompted by my rooftop adventuring in London, where moths proved barren for me but certainly not for him. He has just found this beautiful little micro-moth called Acleris literana in Hackney. I must tell my younger son Olly, who lives there. Don't you think it looks like a mint choc chip ice cream flake? Some are more of a browney colour, mind you. More like caramel choc chip, I guess (see picture right, just below).

Prof Gandy is setting up an excellent website called which I will add to my links. It shows him out with his net in 1983 in the Teifi valley where he found the rare and beautiful Scarce Burnished Brass (pic below). He may also have found myself, Penny and Olly's older brother Tom. We had a lovely holiday by the Teifi that summer.

Prof Gandy also reminds me that a new guide to British micro-moths is on its way with illustrations by the incomparable Richard Lewington who has done the ones in my Moth Bible. The prof says: "It will transform the field for those interested in 'smaller moths'." Eyesight permitting, that will be just in time for my retirement.

I have pinched the pics of the gree Acleris and the SBB for this post from the lovely Hampshire moths website and the caramelly Acleris from the excellent Dumfries and Galloway moths website with many thanks and recommendations for all readers to visit. The green Acleris was photographed by Mike Wall, the SBB by Glynne Evans and the caramelly by Lisa Ferguson.

btw the Guardian Northerner blog post about moth-ing on the Guardian roof is currently in the Top Ten most-viewed UK news articles on the paper's webset. Moth fever spreads, maybe.

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