Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Making a meal of it

Penny's reputation as Top Spotter of Indoor Moths has been further burnished after she called me through to see "a pretty little moth" which was perched on the dining room door.

I imagined it would be one of the Carpets which abound in the garden and often flutter about by day but instead it was this: the micro Pyralis farinalis or the Meal Moth, which featured on the blog last August, in two successive posts. It shares with some of the Carpets a perky habit of sticking its tail in the air when at rest. It spent the whole of yesterday in this position in the same place, but this morning it has flitted.

As its name implies - farina is Latin for flour - its larvae like grain and cereal, especially if it is stored and somewhat neglected, like an unfinished box of Corn Flakes which we brought with us from Leeds. Was this moth a stowaway then, a common modern method of species distribution? I notice that it hasn't yet appeared on the excellent list of moths recorded so far this year by Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation, which has got to 291 (and reached 945 last season). It will do, now.

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