Monday, 2 June 2014

Marbled marvel. But sleepy

A very pretty moth arrived this morning, the Marbled Coronet, but it wasn't until I went back indoors and downloaded my pictures that I saw that the focus - above - wasn't as tight as it could be. The black plastic of the lamp collar, on which the moth had perched, has a discomforting effect on my small and ageing Cannon Ixus, which also needs a G-clamp fixed to it to make the playback work and emits a small puff of smoke when I use flash. I fear its days are numbered.

I went back outside to have another go but found that the moth had left its perch, no doubt disturbed when I put the trap in our shed to guard its inmates against robins. I peered around and discovered quite a few moths roosting on the walls and windowframes. The Marbled Coronet was among them and I enticed it down with the help of a packet of lobelia seeds to grip to.

Though successful, this process all but completed the process of the moth's waking up and although I took this sequence of pictures in a much lighter spot and with a less confusing background for the camera, the insect was flexing its wings and thus creating blur. My compensation was watching the process of a moth preparing to fly - a succession of fast and slow wing flexings which gradually pumps enough energy into the drowsy creature's system for it take off, as this one did, flying powerfully towards the shelter of some shrubs. The whole process took 90 seconds.

A second interesting and not that common newcomer was this Grass Rivulet, below a tiny bit of a moth which is easily overlooked.  In the same class of delicate, pale moths, there was also a Clouded Border (Update - whoops, sorry, Clouded Silver - many thanks to Ray in Comments and my excellent moth expert relative Martin Skirrow, for kind correction), second below, one of the kind without the distinctive wing smudges of black which I've shown in an earlier post. (And got the name right that time. Age...)

The trap is exceedingly abundant at the moment with species already noted here and for the second night running there were over 200 moths, even though I didn't light the lamp until after 11pm. I've already featured the Eyed Hawk moth but can't resist another photo of one which came last night. You can see an Elephant Hawk and a White Ermine in the background.


Ray Walton said...

Hi Martin
Your posts' never cease to entertain & educate me, as I follow you quietly in the back-ground.
Your Clouded border I take to be a Clouded Silver!
Warm wishes from me on this occasion

Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks so much Ray. It's always great to have you comment, but I think of you studying away anyway. So, how is retirement? Has it started? In my experience it's as busy as working but even more varied and less at the beck and call of others. Except the moths of course...

all warmest wishes


Ray Walton said...

Thanks for your kind words Martin. Retirement kicked in just over a month ago, and as you rightly say; as busy as working but more varied and with no one to answer too (except my wife Christine, which is a pleasure) with moths the most welcome additions to my daily routine as I saunter down the garden early every morning to examine the contents of the trap.
I wish you continued success in your own pursuit of this fascinating study of moths.
Take care