Tuesday, 8 May 2012


I have sung the praises of my Robinson moth trap many times, and especially the excellence of its spindly rain shield (above). This looks so ramshackle that newcomers to it such as Kevin Hill who did the PAT-testing on the trap before its excursion to the Guardian roof last month, couldn't believe that such things were legally on sale to the general public.
But they are; and so they should be, as last night demonstrated. I had turned the light on at about 8.30pm and was creeping to bed dog-tired when I heard the sound of steady, drumming rain. I was too far gone to do anything about this, and trusted Mr and Mrs Robinson's rain shield to do its job. It did. You can see from the raindrops on the cable and plastic cover who wet it was. But snug and dry inside were these two nice arrivals, both firsts for this year.

The one in the livid orange eggbox is a Twin Spot Carpet (I am fairly sure - but - update - I am wrong; it's a Spruce Carpet. See Comments for which I am really grateful) and the other on the green box is a Flame Carpet. They do not eat carpets and nor do their caterpillars. Their name comes from the late 18th century when their intricate patterns reminded entomologists of carpets at home, just as the Wainscot moths were named after wooden panelling.

When I was looking at the Flame Carpet, the sun caught the fringe of its hindwings and turned them into shining gold. I tried to capture this on camera without great success. But here is my effort anyway.


David Shenton said...


The Flame Carpet is beautiful.

Regards the Carpet on the orange egg-box, this looks more like Spruce to me (although there is the confusion species, Grey Pine Carpet to be wary of).

Just wish I was getting more moths, still dire here.



Stewart said...

Yes it is a Spruce Carpet Martin.

Bennyboymothman said...

Nice to see Flame Carpet Martin, not one I often see.
Yes Spruce is a good sized carpet and I have yet to see one this year yet.
Tonight looks perfect conditions for moths, if it stays dry (which it won't!)

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks so much everyone, much appreciated. One day I will get them right! I'll change it on the blog.

It's looking good tonight here too, at last. MUCH warmer and no sign of rain, yet.

Good luck one and all