Sunday, 27 April 2014

Eye, eye

Soggy eggboxes are no place to lay your weary head but new moths keep coming on these drizzly nights. Today saw my fifth member of the Prominent family, this battered Swallow Prominent which I think - from its larger body size shown in the grassy picture - is a female.

Because of its faded colouring, I didn't recognise it at first and took it to be a Pebble Prominent with the translucent area of lost wingscales at its forewing tips misleading me by looking like the 'pebble' (see several posts back for an actual PP). But then the little white flashes registered and I happily clocked up this year's 45th species.

Here's peeping at you, kid
One small thing: can you see the moth's fake 'eye'?  I'd not noticed this before on a Swallow Prominent. It looks like a miniature version of the eyes which the Greeks and Persians painted on their triremes at Salamis. It's nowhere near the moth's actual eye, and nothing like as striking as the 'eyes' of a Peacock butterfly or Emperor moth, but maybe it is yet another little example of the remarkable range of camouflage which these insects deploy in their constant battle against predators.


Bennyboymothman said...

Very nice attention to detail Martin! I always enjoy reading your fascinating posts about Moths 'outside the box'.
I haven't had any Prominents at all yet, not even Choccy Tip.
Hopefully tonight might yield one.

All the best

Ray Walton said...

Good evening Martin

I think Ben summarises your posts perfectly; Informative, attention to detail, and very much 'outside the box'


Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks so much pals - and as you know, I value your comments and expertise above rubies. Do let me know if you're coming this way. It abounds in very good pubs...

all warmest as ever