Friday, 26 September 2014

Brown study; and many puzzles

Amidst the hosts of Lunar Underwings which currently hold first place in the eggboxes, a new arrival for me  - I think- came last night: the Deep Brown Dart in the two pictures above. At first I thought it was a variant of the Dark Rustic - plenty of those about at the moment, including the one below. But a closer look convinced me that this was a different moth and the DBD seems the best bet.  I'm going to check up with the experts on the Upper Thames Moths blog and will hasten back here to correct if I am wrong. Update: Hooray! For once I am right.

Current flyers are hardy souls. The temperature at night has plummeted and it's at last becoming possible again to imagine a winter's day, frost, even - shudder - snow. But the moths include some delicate-looking characters such as the Small Dusty Wave - I think again - below.

I've also had a call from that lovely moth the Light Emerald (below), abundant earlier in the summer and now successfully into its second brood. With this species that is not uncommon, but an unusually large number of UK moths are producing extra broods this year thanks to our pleasantly lingering summer. Since I started this pot the temperature has risen again, so it's not over yet.

More puzzles to end with: I've scratched my head in vain over this unexciting little chap who was fluttering round the graveyard at St Leonard's, Eynsham, where we went researching with a friend who was an evacuee in the village in the Second World War. Update: I am dim. As Dave Wilton kindly points out on the Upper Thames Moths blog, where I made this inquiry, I know this moth very well, albeit usually in its angled-wing resting position. It's a Snout. And the last two moths...  Are they yet another variant of the Lunar Underwing? Assistance much appreciated. Update: Yes, they are. By coincidence, another UTM blog enquirer posted two very similar pictures before I had got round to it, so I didn't have to reveal the full extent of my ignorance. This moth is everywhere at the moment, easily the commonest in the trap.

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