Monday, 31 March 2014

Crown of thorns

I mentioned my role as a dodgy priest in Woodstock Passion Play the other day and one of this morning's moths is à propos. Cast members recently got an email about props in which one of the more learned thesps offered a crown of thorns but warned that there was a scarcity locally of 'genuinely Afroaseatic thorn bushes'.

They're probably much bigger and sharper but I don't suppose that anyone will notice the difference. In the same way,  the various Thorn moths in the UK can easily be muddled. But I think I am safe in saying that this one, above, is an Early Thorn, the first of three newcomers for 2014 to the trap which had a super-abundant collection to mark the last day of March. 

There were 94 moths altogether and here are the other fresh faces. First, the lovely little Pine Beauty, below, which provided a welcome splash of orange and pink after the days of uniform grey and dull browns.  

Secondly and less obviously attractive but finely patterned, were the pair of Brindled Pugs below, the first of their large and confusing tribe to arrive here this year.

Micros were represented by Emmelina monodactyla, the Common Plume, below, which was one of the first moths to call by in February, and a small and tattered colleague which I think was Agonopterix heracliana.

Also, for the records which I am trying to keep better now that I have more time, there were two March moths, two Caddis Flies, four Early Greys, 38 Common Quakers, 18 Clouded Drabs, 12 Smnall Quakers, 12 Hebrew Characters, one Red Chestnut and these two handsome Oak Beauties in my final picture (with an early Virginian Stock for scale).

Much the most abundant night of the year

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