Monday, 3 June 2013

Little and large

Four new arrivals last night amid the positive souk of Green Carpets which flourish in this part of the world. Every time I walk past our hawthorn hedge in the daytime, three or four flutter out and there were 14 in the trap this morning, some vivid green, others faded.

Two of the newcomers were small - see below - and I'll try to sort them out later. One at least is pretty distinctive, as are the two large arrivals: a Pale Tussock (top) and a Buff Tip (above and bottom).

Micro number one

Micro number two
The Pale Tussock is one of those fine moths given to wearing hairy trews, as in the old rhyme about Anne Boleyn (much on tele and in the literary news in the UK at present) which was a favourite of my Dad's.

Anne Boleyn had no breeches to wear
So King bought a sheepskin and made her a pair
Leather side out and woolly side in
Eeeh! It were warm in summer for Anne Boleyn

The Pale Tussock wears its breeches the correct, woolly side out. This one is a male, denoted by its orangey-brown antennae and smaller size than the female, even though it's a good sturdy insect in its own right. As with pubs in days gone by, it's the men who go out at night and are attracted by light. The females are more demure. My Moth Bible adds that the species, although still common, was very widespread in our hopfields until the arrival of insecticide - so much so, that it was nick-named the 'Hop Dog'.

I can see a smiley face with a wink. Can you?
The Buff Tip is tremendously characterful, wonderfully mimicking a broken twig, although it also puts me in mind of the stubb of some exotic cheroot.

Lovely weather here at the moment. Hope also with you.


David Shenton said...

More nice moths.

I'll leave the distinctive one to you but the first one is one of those tricky ones that need the chop to get to species level, otherwise it is Cnephasia sp.

Martin Wainwright said...

Much obliged Dave - you are expert at responding to my covert hints that I need help...

all v best