Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sand dudes

After the marathon posts of the last few days, something a little loess tiring for you. The trap was busy as ever this morning but mostly with familiar friends. The two novelties were two Small Blood-veins, above and below, and the nice micro Aleimma loeflingiana in the third picture.

Update: my guru Ben Sale of Essex Moths (hugely worth checking out) corrects me. These are Small Scallops. (Final - I hope - update: sorry, see comments; he meant just the top one; I should have known with my wisest and most patient adviser). I'm just doing a final check with the battery of experts on our local Upper Thames Moths blog whose prases I never tire of singing, cos I had an uneasy feeling this morning that the two might be different species and as Ben says, the Small Scallop and the Small Blood-vein, are very similar. Anyone who has driven themselves mad on pages 132-3 of the Moth Bible will agree with that, I think.

A propos, do you remember the tale of Sir Keith Joseph electioneering in a chippie in Brighouse and commenting that the northern economy couldn't be that bad if scallops were selling for 20p. That sort of scallop, though, is a very big chip encased in batter. So I'm not the only person to get confused.

Further update: The UTM experts have ruled and the top moth is a Small Scallop and the second one a Small Blood-vein. So TWO new moths and very many thanks to Ben and Dave and Nigel of UTM.

They share the sort of sandy tones used by British and American troops in their various expeditions to eastern lands, which have become a familiar sight in recent years. One of my more curious experiences during my Guardian time in the north was checking out the state of British foreign policy by means of the parking lots at Catterick garrison and Leeming RAF base  on the A1.

Aleimma loeflingiana in eggbox context to show how teeny it is

In normal conditions they were olive green and khaki, during the various former Yugoslavian operations, white for UN duties, and in recent years, sandy like these moths. The insects' camouflage works well, even in England's green and pleasant land. If climate change does have the predicted effects, maybe it will work better.

On that score, finally, P and I have been taking an interest in the climate change beds at Oxford University's botanical garden which are trialling seeds that are suited to dryer times. We went three weeks ago and they were flourishing so splendidly that we commented on them to one of the staff, with congratulations.

"Yes," he said. "It's been raining."


Bennyboymothman said...

Nice err Small Scallop Martin :)
Very similiar to Small Blood-vein though!
All the best

Martin Wainwright said...

Ben Hi!

EXCELLENT to see your name as I flounder along. Do you think they are both Small Scallops? I spent ages looking at Pgs 71-2 of WTL before opting for the Small BV but I felt uneasily that they might be two different moths.

I might ask the UTB people too

I shall be over your way shortly to inspect your doings.

Thanks so much as ever


Bennyboymothman said...

Damn, text can be mis-leading at times hehe.
I meant the top on is ok for your original id of Small Blood-vein.
The second is Small Scallop :) Nevermind I think we got there in the end... :)

Martin Wainwright said...

Oh sorry Ben - I mistook your meaning. I'll add yet another update! And very many thanks again for your sterling help. Happy mothing! all warm wishes, M