Sunday, 27 July 2014

The virgin and her jaunty mates

That dainty little creature the Vestal has appeared for the first time this year. Here she is, in an appropriately priestess-like pose. When I discussed the moth last year, I hadn't come across various references to the pink-dyed braids worn by Rome's vestal virgins. This online piece from NBC, to whom thanks for Janet Stephens' picture, chimes nicely with the moth's chaste pink stripe.

Much more raffish are two other visitors to the trap: the Straw Underwing above and the Copper Underwing (or possibly Svensson's CU) below. I initially thought that the latter, with its slightly brownish hues, might be a female Straw Underwing. But I should have realised its true identity from the way it scampered around the eggboxes while I was trying to photograph it.

The Copper Underwings are the worst offenders in this regard among the whole population of UK moths. But I suppose it shows a doughty and independent spirit and therefore does them credit.

1 comment:

Countryside Tales said...

Now I am jealous- never had a vestal appear here and would love to see one. Copper UWs are real scamperers here too, almost on a par with the grumpy yellow underwings who flash their petticoats irritably whenever I attempt to move them, but never display them long enough for a photo. Hope all's well :-)