Most Rustics score badly with me, as a tribe of confusingly similar grey and brownish moths. This darkly handsome character with its golden wing crescents is a major exception.
He or she also has brightly contrasting white underwings, but it isn't easy to get a Black Rustic to pose like a Calvin Klein model. Above is the best I can do. Below are some other nice visitors to the trap on a cold but dry night.
|And I think this is yet another take on the Lunar Underwing. Confusing, eh?|
Update: confused is the word. Sagacious Ben in comments corrects me. It's
a Lesser Yellow Underwing. Second time in a week I've missed that one. Oh dear.
Meanwhile in Witney, lair of David Cameron and fewer than ten miles from here, there has been a magnificent moth episode, recorded on the outstanding website of Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation. With grateful acknowledgments to them and the fervent hope that it may also happen to me, I reproduce it verbatim:
Mary Elford passed on this exciting report from Adrian State in Witney, Oxon: "On Thursday 22nd August I was working late on my computer. I always keep the study window open to welcome any interesting moths that may be flying past but on this evening I got a real surprise. At approximately 1.45am something large and dark flew in through the window and for a few seconds I thought that a pipistrelle bat had lost its bearings, but as it settled next to the ceiling light I was amazed to see that it was a huge moth and what was more it had a clearly defined skull shape on the thorax. It could only be a Death's Head Hawk-moth which I had never before seen in the living form. What really impressed me was its size; I often get Poplar Hawk-moths flying in and although they are large this was clearly quite a bit larger still. I typed "Deaths Head moth" into my computer's browser and on finding the Natural History Museum page on this moth I read that it squeaked when touched. Well, nothing ventured.... I gently pushed it with the tip of a wooden ruler and was immediately rewarded by a very loud and distinct squeak! Whilst I marvelled at this, the moth decided it had had quite enough of satisfying my curiosity and flew back out through the open window. At this point I was extremely cross with myself as my camera had been on my desktop beside me throughout the visit. Ah well, next time."