Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Tipping in the chocolate

This most satisfactory moth arrived last night; indeed a pair of them did, all the more welcome because I have never seen the species before.  It's a Chocolate Tip which unusually inhabits the south of England and part of Scotland but not the bit in between, where we lived until last month for 26 years.

Its name ought to be lengthened to Liqueur Chocolate Tip because there's definitely a touch of Morello cherry in there, or a spot of Burgundy wine. As the later pictures show, it's been dabbling in chocolate with its head and forelegs as well as the tips of its forewings and forked tail. Or maybe Liqueur Chocolate Shrimp because it looks extremely shrimp-like in the third picture, like those Guyelian chocolate sea shapes. Also a little like the caterpillar of one of the Puss/Kitten moths.

Last night was the warmest since we arrived but the local BBC TV news - very good and genuinely local to Oxford - warned last night of heavy rain in the early morning hours. Some internal bell went off my head at 4am, when it was indeed raining although not very hard, and I crept outside, turned off the light and put the trap under shelter. I've never done this before because the rain shield which Mr and Mrs Robinson designed for their trap is very effective in terms of sheltering the expensive light bulb. But water can pool in the bottom below the egg cups and I would have been mortified if a Chocolate Tip had drowned.

This is my 700th post. Goodness! Thanks to all who have stuck with me, especially my ace correctors such as Ben, David and Ray (see previous post, and many earlier).


Ray Walton said...

Very kind of you to mention me alongside very worthy experts in Ben Sale and Dave Shenton (who's Blogs I also follow with great interest) but let me assure you that I am but a novice to this fascinating world of Moths and Butterflies.
Cheers, and thanks to Ben & Dave also for educating me along the way.
Ray Walton (Stokelymort)

MartinWainwright said...

Cheers too Ray, but you are certainly an expert, even if a novice one. Me, I am trying my hardest but I do find the 'basic' moths with their four kidney shapes on a mixture of scarcely varying (to my eyes) brown, grey etc, very trying...

Still, Excelsior, Venceremos etc

all v best as ever