Monday, 21 October 2013


Hello again!  This is an unusual, second post for the day - in penitence for this morning's instalment when I said that 'all is quiet in mothland' and wittered on largely about our cucumber-eating slug (RIP).

I gave a nod to moths by showing a picture of what I described as a rather fine Blair's Shoulder-knot - an excellent moth but by no means new here. But it wasn't. My expert commentor Richard identifies it as a Sprawler, a moth not only new to me but not yet recorded on the excellent Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation's 2013 species list (and so far they've clocked up an astonishing 950 species this year compared with around 230 in my trap since the end of April).

Mea culpa. The Sprawler is a lovely beast and here it is again, along with a pic of its caterpillar which gives the moth its name via its strange action of rearing up and flopping backwards when challenged. Many thanks to this Flickr stream where you can see the pic much larger and better. The moth is not rare in southern England but usually only takes to the wing in late October. Interestingly, the adult insect does not feed or nectar at all.

There is a paler, brown form which was first recorded only in 1953 - in the Chilterns - but has now spread through Oxfordshire, So I shall live in hope of luring that too.


Countryside Tales said...

I did think it was possibly a bit darky/ stripey for a Blair. How exciting- another new one, and such a rarity too. You are topping the leader board for Interesting Moth People :-)

MartinWainwright said...

Hoping your MdJ is due any time now - thanks ever so. all warmest and good ouck with those complex uni studies, M