Thursday, 19 September 2013

Bob the spider, learning how flies must feel

I wasn't going to light the lamp last night because of possible rain, but the forecast changed and so I set things up - with one small flaw. In the rigmarole of going backwards and forwards between trap and socket in the dark, I forgot to turn a switch on. As a result, our vegetable patch, and the moths, had an undisturbed, dark night. The effects of age, eh?

So I'll feature the rest of Tuesday's night's busy catch instead; but I've kicked off with a spider so that I can tell you about Penny's electric spider-catcher. There it is - a tube with a gentle suction fan at the bottom. And in it is our latest Bob (All our big spiders are called Bob after a famous one at our old home in Leeds, described in this 2008 post here). He was en route to the garden, unharmed.

We like spiders and the excellent work they do through consuming less useful and pleasant insects; but there is a limit to how much web is acceptable festooned along the eaves of rooms. We're also members of what you might call the 'Charlotte's Web generation'. Marvellous, how much that one book did for an often, and unjustly, despised and feared race.

So to the moths, and evidence in the two pictures above that the Large Yellow Underwings are doing alright after all. There's been concern in the moth-studying world about a fall in their numbers but we seem to have an Autumn surge. Not, thank goodness, in anything like the numbers we got regularly in Yorkshire, but a decent amount. Here are some of their friends in the trap.

One of 15 Common Wainscots

On my favourite pink eggbox - a brown-spot Pinion

I'll ID this nice little micro by-and-by


Countryside Tales said...

Quick note of thanks for the post a couple of days ago with the Lunar Underwings on it (which I thought might have been Gothics). We had both colour varieties in the box this morning and I was able to confidently (!) ID them, thanks to having seen them on your blog! :-)

MartinWainwright said...

Hi CT - sorry for the delay. That's great - and I in turn am indebted to Ben Sale and my corps of experts without whom I'd be completely at sea. The variations are extremely annoying - or maybe challenging is a nicer word. All warm wishes, M