Monday, 24 March 2014

Fur collar weather

It was the coldest night since November last night and though the sun is shining brightly now, frost remains prettily all around. Good weather, then, for the fur collars sported by the two moths below.

Along with the ability of their equivalent of blood to function at very low temperatures - the Winter Moth's has similar properties to antifreeze - this helps species such as the Twin-spotted Quaker, above, and Hebrew Character, below, to function at this time of the year.

Function is the word, though, rather than flourish. When I tapped the couple of dozen trap residents out of the eggbox cones into which they had crept, all played dead. I hid them - 12 Clouded Drabs, five Common Quakers, three more Hebrew Characters and two Small Quakers - in the cosiest spots I could find in the infant cow parsley and nettles and hoped that our predatory hedge birds were also making a slow start because of the cold.

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