Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cooling it

Common Plume - Emmelina monodactyla

Moths are sturdy little creatures. It was extremely chilly for August last night but the trap was well-stocked. Here are some of its residents - nothing terribly exciting but a good range. There were well over 100 individual insects with Flame Shoulders still well ahead of the others in terms of numbers.

Common Wainscot

Meanwhile, I am still very pleased about yesterday's Hummingbird Hawk moth even though it was dead when discovered. I hadn't read the entry on the species in the Moth Bible when I wrote the post, assuming that I already knew all that I needed to. This was complacent of me. When I turned to the entry over my morning tea today, I discovered that it contains another example of the authors' very rare excursions into whimsy and overt lightness of heart.

Flounced Rustic

The HH has a special section of its own called 'Folklore'. There may be more of these in the book but if so, I've not come across them yet. In the Hummingbird Hawk's, the 'apparent' practice in Malta and Italy of seeing the moth as a good omen is described along with the pleasant fact that the senior author (I'm not sure which one this is) saw a Hummingbird Hawk on the day of his daughter's birthday which also coincided with the birth of the book itself - indeed a happy day for all interested in the moths of the UK.

Square Spot Rustic - is it worth two of its pal in my hand below?

Finally it repeats an anecdote published endlessly on the web: that a 'swarm' of Hummingbird Hawk moths was seen speeding across the Channel to the UK on D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe on 6 June 1944. And everyone who saw them is supposed to have survived.  What a nice addendum to all the history and drama of the day; but I would like to trace the story back further if anyone knows more. Were they hastening to our island to spread the news? Was the magical preservation actually the fact that if you did see them but then, alas, die, you were in no position to comment?

Pondering such questions is the very stuff of retirement.

Rosy Rustic, I think. Update: but I think wrongly. It's a Six-striped Rustic, new to my records. Very many thanks to Countryside Tales and Richard in Comments.

Not sure - homework for later  Update: it's another Square Spot - many thanks again to Richard in Comments.


Countryside Tales said...

I think your second to last is a six-striped rather than a Rosy? :-)

richard bartlett said...

Agree Six-striped Rustic and the 'unsure' is another Square-spot Rustic.

Martin Wainwright said...

Very many thanks. The six-striped is new to me (probably in the sense that I've never recognised it before...)

Very much obliged as always

Happy mothing!