Thursday, 9 May 2013

Tuesday night stragglers

I didn't put the trap out last night, so as not to bother moths such as yesterday's Chocolate Tips which might return again and not particularly to their advantage. I remember this almost certainly happening with a Poplar Hawk moth in Leeds which was dozing away in the eggboxes five nights in a row. I don't have any evidence that it was definitely the same insect or that it suffered harm, but I'm guessing that the disorientation involved in coming to the trap repeatedly isn't wholly a good thing. Any opinions on the subject most welcome.

I do have some moths, though, as the night before last also yielded another species new to me, the Least Dark (apols, Black - thanks to Dave in Comments) Arches shown above which does frequent Yorkshire in modest numbers but never paid us a call there. It has the Linnaean name of Nola confusali which sounds as though it means 'Don't get confused' on the lines of the Biblical 'Noli me tangere', but it doesn't. Shame, as it would be a useful memo to myself when trying to identify moths.

I nailed it, in the continuing absence of my Moth Bible in the packing cases, with the help of the really excellent Flying Tonight page of the Hampshire and Isle Of Wight moth group, to which I was led by the equally good, local Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation website, which I mentioned a couple of days ago and to whose own Moth Sightings I'm now contributing. It's marvellous, and very good for accurate record-keeping, how many enthusiasts there are in our small, nocturnal world, and how the internet has revolutionised our sharing of experience.

I seem a bit gabby this morning, so just to add the Red-green Carpet (whoops no, it's a V-Pug, many thanks again Dave) and Early Thorn above from Tuesday night plus a Daddy Long-legs, below, an insect much-loved in childhood and still fascinating. Also to say, as I forgot to do yesterday, that I was lucky to have time yesterday morning to watch one of the Chocolate Tips warm up in the bright sunshine and fly away after our photo session. As soon as it took wing, its lovely and distinctive colouring ("What a charming insect!" a friend Tweeted me) turned into the usual super-midge-like blurr which marks out flying moths from floating, soaring butterflies and is another reason why they remain the Cinderella sisters. But like Cinders, greatly worth getting to know.


David Shenton said...

You are getting some nice moths in your new home, Martin.

Just a couple of observations from me if I may, your RGC is a V-Pug and in what seems like a typo, the Nola is Least Black not Dark Arches; I had my first of the year on the same night.



MartinWainwright said...

Thanks very much Dave - I've put those both right. I was so disgracefully proud of having tracked the LBA down that I didn't check my copy. Typical (ex)journalist! all warm wishes - great that you're going well too, M