Saturday, 30 June 2012

Underneath the Arches

I've been muttering about looking at the Arches family and here we are at last. I suspect that it's largely because this one, above, was sprawled on its back like a drunk and so justified my atrociously punning headline. But in a very poor season for moth numbers so far, they are at least here in force.

The main thing that intrigues me about them, apart from the handsome size and patterning which includes the arch-like features which account for their name (above), is the variety of colour and tone. These below are all Dark Arches (I think and hope...) but initially when you look into the trap, you wonder if some of them are something else.

This is the case with very large numbers of UK moths, adding to the muddle and confusion which I already, notoriously, experience in trying to decide what's what. Look at these Hearts and Darts just below, as another example.  And then I think we'll conclude with some current arrivals which even I can identify: a Snout (what a nose!) - but, update, see Comments and ponder the story of Pinocchio; not that I make my mistakes deliberately. But this is a Fan Foot, a species becoming rarer in the north according to UK Moths, contrary to the general trend. Many thanks to Dave and Ray) -  a Brimstone and a Small Angle Shades with its lovely, just perceptible hint of that very rare moth colour, blue.


David Shenton said...


A nice variety of moths.

Your 'snout' looks more like Fan-foot to me.



Stokelymort said...

Martin and commentor David
As a novice to this fascinating subject, I use you guys as learned experts, so invariably I will be wrong, and you will most certainly be right. As this seems to be a split decision, I am going to make the bold suggestion that this looks like a Fan-foot!
Which keeps us all on our toes

MartinWainwright said...

Hi both and many apologies for the delay in acknowledging my error - once again I don my dunce's cap.

I've been in France for a week and the blog is about to explode into the technicolour world of butterflies which were abundant near Albi, Tarn, in a manner seen only seldom back here in Leeds.

You should have seen the weather yesterday at Yeadon airport. We were lucky to land.

Anyway, many thanks for putting me right again, and maintaining the blog's potential usefulness for future generations, should they chance across it in whatever vast electronic debris our generation leaves.

I will now amend the post.

All warm wishes