Sunday, 22 June 2014

Jaws - for lettuce

I've lent the moth trap for a couple of nights to neighbours who live the other side of the canal and closer to the river. They have a lot more trees nearby and it will be interesting to see if this slightly different landscape brings them moths which I don't get here, and vice versa.

Although our surroundings are a little loess watery than theirs, I was visited on Friday night by two sharks. Not the intimidating fish but its streamlined namesake in the moth world, shown above and - with my nice pyjamas) below. It is well-named, with its silvery-grey colouring and sleek lines, but the eating habits of its caterpillars are much cosier than those in the world of Jaws. Wild lettuce, for example; something we have in abundance, at least in the form of lettuces in the allotment which keep sprouting green towers because we and our neighbours can't eat them quickly enough.

The Shark and its relatives in the Cuculliinae family of noctuid moths (sorry to lapse into science-speak; one day I will find out why they are named after the fearsome Irish giant who carried a thunderbolt around disguised as a pancake) share the prominent 'quiff' shown in the lower picture and from a different angle below. They also share somewhat intimidating English names; others in the group include the Wormwood, Mullein and Cudweed moths.

The Shark I've shown so far was dozing obediently in the eggboxes but the second one was a more independent character. Here it is below, as I came across it, tucked into a crevice of the stone wall a yard from where the trap was standing.

The trap has been very busy in recent days and so have I, so apologies for the interval since the last post. I won't bang on now but will show some of the other arrivals over the next couple of days while the light is on holiday. Meanwhile, here in conclusion are a couple of pretty Carpet moths which came the other night: a Spruce, the first this year but a regular visitor in 2013, and the Sandy, which is common but has not called on me before.

No comments: