Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Oakapple days

Acorns are raining down on our shed at the moment from the oak above it. They crack like bullets; enough to make you jump if you're day-dreaming or examining moths, but also providing useful bits of scale for my pictures here. As you can see. The Acleris aspersana below was particularly enthusiastic about this, hopping on to the acorn cup as soon as I placed it nearby.

It's a day of the tiddlers, by and large, with the trap sited perilously on top of a hedge under tree canopies. Here are a couple more pictures of the little chap shown at the top of the post. They make him (or her) look a lot more impressive. ID to follow soon. Update: and very many thanks to Stephen in Comments for supplying it, with some interesting extra info. It's Ypsolopha sequella.

Here's Acleris ferrugana, with its lovely speckling, below and then one which got away: a lovely black and white micro which someone more expert than me may be able to identify from my picture of its underside. I was much impressed by this tiny moth. It took off after I nudged its eggbox and fluttered away for about 75 yards, stopping one en route where I managed to get this picture. There must be some power in those minute wing muscles.

The acorns came in useful for the macro moths too, for example as scale to this Willow Beauty which I originally photo-ed on the trap (second picture below) but deliberately disturbed because the black background often makes the camera play up.

Finally for today, a moth which is a regular visitor to the trap and has been all year - the Silver Y. This is one of the first moths that most young entomologists encounter because it is both common and a regular day-flyer. Neither of these things should lead us to overlook its great beauty and also its etymological (as opposed to entomological) interest. Its scientific name Autographa gamma means 'signed with a G', the Greek letter gamma much resembling our Y.


Stephen said...

The little feller in the first photo looks like Ypsolopha sequella. Look for the silhouette of a rabbit's head on its wings behind the head. There is a good photo showing this on UK Moths.

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks so much Stephen - I'll update. What an excellent point about the rabbit. I'll return to this. Very much appreciated.

all warm wishes