Monday, 29 July 2013


Click on the pic to check out the dew on this dainty Yellow-barred Brindle which was all but invisible on the bleached wood of a windowsill

Cooler weather and rain have coincided with a lull in moth-related excitement, with a run of the worthy but drab sort of species, enlivened by Mother of Pearls in great abundance, plus Yellowtails. This has prompted me to spend a little more time examining the surroundings of the trap, something I tend to overlook when absorbed by interesting novelties tucked away in the eggboxes.

Tough old thing; last night's OAP Swallow Prominent

The practice of moths coming near the trap but not entering it has something interesting to say about the workings of 'attraction' to light, or disorientation of their subtle navigating systems as it may really be. Below are some of my finds, which also illustrate the gradual fading of this year's first generations.

A reminder of one in its prime - the day before my birthday (May 18 remember) this year

Age comes to moths as to all else in creation, but they can bat on in spite of physical decay like sturdy pensioners. My pics above show the effects of a short but hard life on that aristocrat of the UK moth world, a Swallow (or Lesser Swallow Prominent), compared with one enjoying its salad days. Gallant battered thing, the oldie still retains the sleek lines which give it such distinction when newly-hatched. Thinking of that issue of attraction/disorientation, note that its antennae, so vital for guidance in flight, look in good order compared with the sadly worn wings.

Here are some of the other moths which were sleeping nearby:

A Lime-speck Pug on the outside of the trap's bulb-holder

A Brimstone Moth in the grass

A Carpety moth which I'll be ID-ing shortly, on the house wall. Update: CT has beaten me to it in Comments; it's a Small Phoenix. Many thanks!

A Dot Moth tucks into the window farme

While  Common Footman prefers the actual pane

An Ermine micro just avoiding a spider's web

Going bald; an ageing Peach Blossom on the window

A Beautiful Golden Y on the other side of the window frame

A Pebble Prominent on the wall

And a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing examining our decaying woodwork; remedial sanding and painting due in the autumn

Update: And finally...   The chief indoors moth-spotter, Penny, discovered this second generation Early Thorn in our kitchen this morning, looking like an actor or actress taking a nervous bow in the footlights. It's apparently attracted to, or distracted by, a light-switch rather than an actual light.


Countryside Tales said...

Your carpety one looks like a small phoenix (I'd like to say this is down to my remarkable powers of moth deduction, but in reality it's because I've had a lot of them this week!) :-)

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks ever so much CT - I've also just been checking and realised that my 'Green Carpet' is a Yellow-barred Brindle, so double thanks

all v best as ever


Thelma said...