To my joy, I found a Yellow-tail sleeping under the transparent screen, a good position to spy the blob of orangey-yellow on its tail which is one of the most blatant advertisements for mating in the mothy world. The relief was all the greater because yesterday there were three Yellow-tails in the eggboxes, all of which flew away before I could sort out my camera.
The trouble is, unless you are a handsome male or beautiful femaleYellow-tail yourself, the moth has to be provoked into showing its full glory, which also acts as a 'surprise' form of deterrence, similar to the hidden wings of the Yellow Underwing or the 'eyes' of the Eyed Hawkmoth. Provoking a Yellowtail is very likely to lead to its scarpering; but not this morning.
By repeatedly nudging it with a finger, I got it to scamper round a table under the plastic canopy. Alas, as the results above show, the transparency of my nine-year-old Robinson apparatus is sadly scarred and scratched. Reluctantly, after that third, murky shot which shows the colour but only in a rather French Impressionist manner, I lifted the lid and did a final prod. Bingo! Showing its deterrent purpose in textbook fashion, the moth shot up its tail - wonderfully rapidly so that even I, who knew what to expect, got a bit of a shock. But I also got the photo at the top of this post.
|Why yellow? The moth |
as normally seen