Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Colourful haul

I hesitated before putting out the trap last night because rain was forecast, but out neighbours had grandchildren staying who were interested in seeing some moths, so we went ahead. I got up at 7am to the patter of rain and shifted the trap under cover but saw, to my relief, that it had several moths inside. The risk of introducing children to Mothland is that the moths may decide not to turn up, causing understandable frustration, boredom and resignation at the strange ways of grown-ups.

Not so last night. We had plenty to examine - including, surprisingly for me, a couple of Cinnabars including the one above, which are better known as one of the UK's 60 or so day-flying moths. They duly flew off into the watery morning after several minutes of posing for the camera. Also there, was yet another member of the Prominent family, those aristocrats among moths. This, below, is the Iron Prominent, one of my favourites for its lovely colourway of maroon and that subtle, blue-grey, a sort of mixture of the uniforms of the American Civil War.

There were three Swallow Prominents dozing too, one a Lesser SP whose small distinctions from the SP were spotted by the children's grandad. Also - below in order - this dainty Brimstone moth which took off and hid in the greenhouse, this Twin-spot Carpet (I think) and a pair of the lovely Least Black Arches which seems quite common here.

Add a White Ermine, a Muslin, a Common Quaker, three Green Carpets and another black and white Carpet which I failed to photograph before it fluttered off, a large beetle, a maybug and several caddis flies and this was a satisfying haul. No tears or yawns then, and the children's Mum, a very cheerful and enthusiastic primary school teacher, is spreading the message too (having already bred butterflies from caterpillars in the classroom, a magical process if the children are lucky enough to see an insect emerging from its chrysalis).


Bennyboymothman said...

Yep, Red Twin-spot Carpet, you are faring much better than I am, really struggling with moths this year as most people are.
Last year I was getting between 20 and 30 species a night, this year on average 7!

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Ben and thanks once more. It is a rather sparse season, isn't it - though selfishly, I find fewer moths in the trap easier to cope with...

Still, I am buoyed up by the 'new' ones in Oxfordshire which didn't come to Leeds.

all warmest