Friday, 21 June 2013

Teddy boy

Say 'Hello!' to the Teddy Boy of the UK moth world - the Coxcomb Prominent with its one-off hairstyle. Like the quiff, eh? I remember quiffs, wetting my fringe at the age of about ten and rolling it back with a comb.

About that time, I shot an arrow in the air from my home-made bow and watched it so assiduously that it hit my eye, like Harold at Hastings though happily I was only bruised. I did have to go to hospital, though, where the boy in the next bed was an Elvis Presley fan while I was a partisan of Tommy Steele. Quiffs were central to that argument too.

Here he or she is from above, with the lamp that attracted him or her behind

In the moth world, such features are all effective as camouflage; I guess the Coxcomb Prominent looks like some sort of leaf or scrap of bark. It brings to six the number of members of the Prominent family who have come calling this season. The one I'd most like to encounter is the lovely and rare White Prominent but it has almost unicorn status. Fewer than ten have been found since it was first discovered in Killarney, Ireland, in 1859.

The Coxcomb's companions in the trap were many and varied, including the seven Elephant Hawks featured yesterday, Peppered moths, Buff Tips, lots of Carpets and this little Lime-speck Pug, above, another moth which benefits from  'bird-dropping' camouflage.  Plus the two Hawthorn Shield bugs below who were having a lovely time. I felt like a bit of a stalker but shield bugs appear to be a romantic species; when I Googled to discover their identity, I noticed that the Royal Horticultural Society's page on the related Green Shield bug (remember Green Shield stamps, older folk?), showed a pair of them hard at it as well.

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