Thursday, 10 July 2014

Purple page

A year ago, Penny and I were Purple Emperor-hunting in Bernwood Forest when a fellow-enthusiast from the Black Country showed us pictures on his digital camera of a very colourful moth. Deceived by the lack of scale, we spent a futile though enjoyable time criss-crossing Bernwood Meadows in the sunshine, looking in vain for other examples.

Then, earlier this year, Dave Wilton who is one of the Wise Men of the Upper Thames Moths blog, posted pictures of a striking variety of the bright little micro Pyrausta purpuralis he'd found at the Meadows which I'm sure were the mystery moth. I say 'mystery' because much Googling had failed to establish any clues.

You can get an idea of how lovely these thumbnail-sized insects are from this Purpuralis above which was the first moth I found among the eggboxes (largely of classy Burford Brown eggs at the moment) this morning. You can also see how colour plays a constant dance with light. The second photo is remarkably different for being taken in the shade. A purple page at the court of the Purple Emperor.

Another beautiful newcomer for the year was a Marbled Beauty, a small and delightfully delicate moth with markings reminiscent of either ladies' fashionwear or a finely-designed window. Or both.