Tuesday, 16 July 2013


It's Penny's birthday today so trapping is suspended because of the household's intense focus on celebrations. But Sunday night provided ample material for a small entomological salute, including this lovely creature - almost on a par with P herself - the Beautiful China Mark.

Another appropriate micro also arrived, Acleris forsskaleana with its heart-shaped marking on the tiny wings. And look! The Royal Mail has pitched in with a birthday set of stamps in honour of British butterflies.

On cue, a real-life butterfly which we hadn't seen before this year, the Small Skipper, joined in the celebrations when we took a pre-birthday stroll along the canal. Here it is:

I will just add one or two other delicate moths of a Pennyish sort: this charming Blue-bordered Carpet below, followed by a dainty Ermine micro - Willow, maybe? - a family of tinies which in large numbers can nonetheless create incredible silk nests for their caterpillars which regularly cause 'moth doom' excitement in the media.

The Spindle is actually teeny. Can you spot it on this eggbox?

Finally, P is well-known as the ace indoors moth spotter and, true to form, she came up with this one on the kitchen window as we washed up before going to bed. I've got a horrible feeling that it's Ephestia kuehniella, aka the Mediterranean Flour Moth, which lives off 'stored products' such as rice and flour. So we'll stop there.

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