Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hatching and catching

See how the empty and translucent pupa shows the sun's reflection from our lovely dishrack

After my Easter frivolities, the real moths have returned and in style. I spotted the first of them before leaving the house; back on 4 April I posted about finding a moth pupa while digging in the veg patch and how I had snuggled it into a bowl to await hatching.

Interestingly, the pupa wing cases to which I referred in my April 4 post,
did not show the uniquely raked shape of this moth

This morning as I searched for my pen and pad to record the moths outside, I noticed a stain spreading from the pupa. Initially I though: Oh no, what's gone wrong?  But then I saw this lovely Angle Shades perched on top of the bowl, its raked wings just expanded and dried.

After this promising beginning, the trap itself was well up to the mark following a dry and warmish night. My first Streamer of the year, above, was dozing in one eggbox with its distinctive wing mark like the tail of a kite. Some near neighbours who plan to borrow the trap one of these days reported a Streamer on their kitchen window about a fortnight ago and I have been jealously waiting for my own.

One of the strangest-looking of UK moths was in the next box - this Pale Prominent above which resembles either a large twig or a section of Cadbury's Flake chocolate (the ones which you finished off at school by folding the yellow wrapper into a gutter and pouring the bits into your mouth). Beside it was the Pebble Prominent below sideways and from above, showing the 'pebble'; so with last week's Coxcomb Prominent, I am doing well with this excellent family.

Other moths included this pug below - either Brindled or Oak Tree, I think. Update: it's a Brindled - many thanks to Ben, via excellent Upper Thames Moths blog. Help much appreciated. And there were also three Brindled Beauties in very fresh condition, two each of Clouded Drab, Common Quaker and Hebrew Character plus one Early Grey and one Powdered Quaker.

And finally this Flame Shoulder, left, a moth whose occasional habit of seeking out enthusiasts' ears as they check the trap - a rare example of legendary moth behaviour being true - is described in one of the Moth Bible's  rare departures from sober data.


Countryside Tales said...

Beautiful Angle Shades- what a stunner to hatch! And I'm envious of the Streamer- not had one of those here...yet :-)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Yay, it emerged, and it's a beauty!