Tuesday, 16 October 2012

On closer inspection

A very ordinary little moth for you today, but it shows again what beauty there is in ordinariness. I say 'again' because this has been one of the constant lessons of studying moths. As in all walks of life, the obviously beautiful or unusual capture our attention at first; but when there is time to look closely at the 'everyday', all manner of virtues become clear.

This is one of the many forms of the Common Marbled Carpet and I had long thought of it as merely a couple of russet splodges on a brown background. But when you look more closely, those little zigzags of white become apparent, along with the small and delicate sprinkling of dots on the upper forewings.

It is a modest, common and has agreeably tolerant caterpillars which are prepared to eat anything from bilberries, which sadly we don't have here, to docks which we do, in abundance.  It has posed helpfully, too, on the trap's interior, halfway between light and darkness.

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