Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Best foot forward

The Angle Shades is such a dashing-looking moth that it is almost always photographed in its classic resting position, with its steeply-raked wings angled back like a secret weapon from Area 51. The one which overnighted in my trap last night, however, was restless this morning and all primed for take-off; so I got the picture above which is interestingly different, of the long wings stretched out ready for flight - and twitching, hence the blurring for which many apologies.

When it took off, the power and effectiveness of its wing structure was evident, as it whirred away over our vegetable patch. I have the feeling that it was signalling 'Chocks away' when I took the top picture. I saw it neatly place its right leg, with its plus-four trousering, to one side as I pressed the camera button.

Meanwhile, one of three Vestals in the trap posed in an attractive way on the blurb about the virtues of organic eggs. Here she is, above. These lovely little moths can be shy and are classified as 'local' rather than 'common'; but we seem to have a veritable temple of them here.

The trap also had this nice second- or even third-generation Shuttle-shaped Dart and an interestingly high number of the melanic form Capucina of the Green-brindled Crascent, which I discussed yesterday. On Monday, there were 10 standard forms and one Capucina; last night the ratio was 2 standard, 3 Capucina. I shall send a note to Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation. As you can see below, other coffee-related moths (ie browny/grey and hard to distinguish) were around in strength as well.

Large Yellow Underwing - plenty of these around

Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (Archips podana)

Beaded Chestnut

Brown-spot Pinion, I think, rather than another Beaded C

Now this is a quandary. A Rustic of some kind? Or a Quaker ditto? Help needed


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,
Your last moth looks interesting. The shape suggests Turnip Moth but with no markings can't be sure. Did you get a look at the hindwings and the antennae?

Anonymous said...

Hi again,
I've just had a better look at the brown moth and I think I can just make out the forward pair of stigmata which are very narrow and angled therefore a Beaded Chestnut.
Still worth checking the hindwing though.

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks very much Richard - much appreciated. I'll go now and see if he or she is still dozing (with my camera)

all warmest


MartinWainwright said...

Hi again, Richard

I've done a special supplementary post which may help. The moth has now flown, but thanks for alerting me to a Dark Chestnut too

all v best again