Monday, 2 December 2013

Well wrapped-up

I lit the lamp last night for the first of my occasional off-season checks and was well-rewarded by a series of six finely-clad December moths. They are going to need their fur coats according to my mother-in-law's Daily Express which I used as a photography backdrop, although that paper tends to get a bit over-excited where the weather is concerned.

Interestingly, although the 'fur' looks worthy of Lara Antipova at first glance, the wings of the December Moth are unusually translucent because they have fewer scales than most comparably-sized moths. I hope to discover the reason for this, if anyone entomological has established it.

The Decembers are timely, with our Advent calendar burning away picturesquely at Number Two, although they were about in early November when I called time on regular trapping. A little more surprising is the presence of three other moths, below: two Chestnuts and a hardy member of the Carpet tribe (I cannot tell which).

Observe my trousers, into a crease of which this Chestnut snuggled. It is too cold now for pyjamas

As you can see, my December Moths vary in size. Unlike the norm for humans, the larger ones are the females - see the contrasting pair below. These also lack the feathered antennae of the males but the moths were so sleepy and the early morning so cold that I didn't have the heart to goad them into showing the difference for my camera.


Countryside Tales said...

Nice to have you back. I haven't had our trap out either for weeks but am planning to do so on Tues night (just before the arctic weather hits...).
Hope all's well? CT :-)

Anonymous said...

The mystery carpet looks like it could be a Winter moth.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi both - sorry for the delay; my mind is somewhat off the moth ball.

I'm sure you're right, Anon - that would make a lot of sense in current temperatures. Good luckwith the trapping CT. I've got a particular reason for lighting the lamp again next week...

all warmest