Monday, 24 February 2014

Even smaller than Emily

The year's first micro-moth has arrived in the common but always striking form of the Common Plume. Its appearance is timely as only yesterday we were worshipping our little granddaughter Emily and the Plume's scientific name is Emmelina.  In full, it's Emmelina monodactyla, or 'Emmelina One-winged', as opposed to Emil Wainwright, or 'Emily the maker of haywains'.

I keep thinking that I'll put the trap away again as the takings are so sparse at this time of the year, but the weather last night was very mild, if blowy, and there were another two moths inside the eggboxes this morning: a positive crowd compared to the one-at-at-time pattern up to now.  The others were a scruffy Satellite, as ragged as the eggbox it chose but with its spaceship markings nice and clear. And a Chestnut, dozing quietly away at the bottom of the pile.

It was very early when I checked things this morning and the light outside was poor for photography, in my incompetent hands. So I took the Satellite and Emmelina indoors to use Miranda, my little camera tripod - I like all these nice girls' names for moths and pieces of technical equipment - and got the more stable shots with Private Eye in the background.

Interesting to see how light and camera angle change a moth's colouring, as with the two different Satellite pics. Here's a final one of Emmelina too, doing that 'Spitfire banking' thing which children used to do in the playground in my young days (along with a yell of 'Eeeeeeyaaaawwww...du-du-du-du' as you went in for the kill).


Countryside Tales said...

Moth season is well and truly up and running! I had the trap out last night too and got 4 new species, so a great start. I wonder whether this year will follow the pattern of last year, with your moths turning up here a few days later? Be interesting to see :-)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

This is a very entertaining post. Thanks : )

petoskystone said...

The Emmelina is a fascinating little creature.

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi all! It's great that things are under way, though I'm a little nervous about shining my light into neighbours' sweet dreams with the lack of leaf cover at the moment. Fingers' crossed...

Emmelina and the other plumes are lovely, aren't they. One of its relatives was among my very first posts back in 2008 -
- if interested, and I gave a link to a great gallery of Plume pics

all warmest


JRandSue said...

Not got a clue Martin,but,will be placing trap out tonight.