Tuesday, 29 April 2014

This morning is orange

My species count for the year has reached 50 with the arrival of this attractive gentleman, the Orange Footman. He is one of a little tribe whose neat appearance reminded the 18th century English moth-namers of those servants who stand behind dining chairs in the likes of Downton Abbey, silent but lapping up the gentry's gossip and how they can make good use of it.

Orange footmen must have come over to the UK with King William III (of Orange) who was a famous victim of the natural world; he was killed when his horse either stumbled over a molehill or shied at the sight of an actual mole, giving rise to the toast among his Jacobean enemies - I take the fly in my photo to be symbolic of them - to 'The little gentleman in velvet'. The moth is also prepared to travel; English examples found on the East Coast are thought to be immigrants from the Continent.

My other newcomers for 2014 were a Red Twin-spot Carpet, a frequent visitor in the past unlike the Orange Footman which is wholly new to me, and this nice little micro below. I think it is Cochylis atricapitana but would appreciate expert views.

Meanwhile there were a couple of attractive Brimstone Moths resting in the nearby long grass and in the trap a Muslin moth sleeping (and it was sound asleep) with its antennae out - unusual in my experience. The one I showed yesterday was awake, disturbed by my photography.

Here below is the Muslin moth, followed by a tiny Twenty-plume micro obligingly showing its delicate little plumes, like arrows, which account for the name. The catch was completed by a Pale Prominent, Brindled Beauty, Powdered Quaker, Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab, plus one earwig, two Caddis flies and a couple of suspects for the hated Blandford Fly which is the one serpent in our Eden, due about now and with a really nasty bite.

Update: sorry I was so excited by my Extra-large Footman pic that I forgot
to put this one of the Muslin moth in yesterday

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