Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Moths of Corfu (and some other animals too)

Long-tailed Blue, I think Update: No, thanks to Richard in Comments, I now know that it's a Geranium Bronze. I posted on this three years ago - see http://martinsmoths.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/singing-blues.html

I've been away in the sunshine (and indeed the rain, with European weather stood on its head so that Britain was basking while we got quite damp, though never other than very warm).

Ditto Update: nope, I'm going for Lang's Short-tailed Blue as per the amazing Richard in Comments

But I think this one may be a Shaw's Short-tailed Blue Update: Nope, a Lang's, I think. See caption to pic above

There was enough sun to bring out some lovely butterflies, though, and I managed to photograph a few in between spells of intense and extremely enjoyable granddaughter-watching. She beats even moths...

I'm going for Marbled Skipper on this one

The first five are a trio of blues of the tailed variety - although deely-boppered might be an apter description than tailed. Then we have a pair of skippers and finally a smart little fritillary and a reassuringly mundane Small White. Update: I have started an intensive ID sesh with the help of excellent websites such as this Flickr Greek Lepidoptera Pool, and am adding my suggestions as captions to the pics. Confirmation, correction and help of any kind MOST welcome.

Moths were also about at night and convenient to study and photograph thanks to a row of lights like inverted goldfish bowls where we were staying. Our group included the UK's illustrious Paralympian swimmer Suzie Rodgers who was my older son and daughter-in-law's best girl at their wedding. In addition to her many other talents - her daily practice sessions mightily impressed the sunbathers of Corfu - she is an ace moth-spotter and I owe her big thanks for alerting me to quite a few of the ones whose pictures follow, plus various other insecty creatures and one of their many enemies as a tailpiece.

Here are the more striking of the macro moths, led by a Corfiot relative of the Maiden's Blush, appropriately for the island of Nausicaa who surprised Odysseus in the nude after his shipwreck. Then comes a local version of our Vestal, again bringing echoes of Homer in terms of Penelope's chastity while her roving warrior husband was endlessly away.

Update: probably a Mullein Wave - many thanks Richard in Comments

Following them, a range of intriguing macro unknowns which I hope are distinctive enough for me to crack in ID terms in due course (others welcome to join in, as always)

Update: I'm plumping for dark form of Devonshire Wainscot, thanks to Richard in comments (again)

Update: Thanks to Andy King of the excellent Upper Thames Moths blog, I can definitely ID this as a Passenger Moth,  Dysgonia algira.  Ditto the moth below.  Thanks very much Andy

A different specimen of the moth above, caught in a flash pic on our kitchen wall . Update: see caption of moth above.

Update: Hooray for Richard in comments yet again. This is Dysauxes punctata 

Now a few which I am sure are relatives of our immigrant Silver Y family or indeed actual Silver Y's in some cases

And then the micros...  Days of enjoyable winter research lie ahead on websites which illuminate the moths of Greece. I have failed in the matter of scale once again but these are thumbnail-sized beasts. The colouring is a bit dodgy too with the photographs taken flashless by the ochreish light of the lamps.  Meanwhile, descriptions of blissful weather on our return have me fired-up to light the trap here at home and see what has business in Oxfordshire in September.

Update: Palpita vitrealis or related Crambid - thanks to Andy in comments. This also applies to the pic below

Update: Palpita vitrealis, as in preceding pic
Update: I think this is a Bee micromoth

Update: thanks to Richard in Comments again, I am pretty sure that this is a Hoary Footman

Update: another Bee micromoth, methinks

To conclude with some of the other animals in Gerald Durrell style, here are a few of the many bugs and beetles which swarmed over the goldfish bowls; then a strange upside-down, dragonfly nymph-like creature spotted by Penny as we marched home from the supermarket with our supper ingredients, and finally two cicadas, one intact and the other minus one of its key back legs but formidably agile even so.

Sorry, I said 'finally' but here's that tailpiece I mentioned earlier, below,  Watch it, moths of Corfu!


Andrew King said...

Martin: The 4th and 5th down in the moths is Dysgonia algira (known in England as The Passenger), the creamy-whitey one may well be Palpita vitrealis or something closely related - it's a crambid.
Andy King.

Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks so much Andy I've checked that out in WT&L and seen it happily there - to my amazement. I had no idea it had made the UK list. Very much obliged. Alas, the chances of seeing it here on home ground seem slim but it's an attractive moth.

All warm wishes, Martin

richard bartlett said...

Hi Martin,
Your first butterfly is a Geranium Bronze (it's on the UK list) and the 4th micro from the top looks like a Hoary Footman, widespread thoughout Europe and now firmly established in south London and Surrey and still expanding.
All the best,

Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks so much Richard. I feel stupid (not unusual...) I did a post about this interesting little traveller last time we had a holiday in France. Fascinating the way it arrived in the UK and I'm glad that it's now an addition to the official list. I didn't know that.

Much obliged for the H Footman. Do you think the spotted moth might be some form of burnet?

all warm wishes


richard bartlett said...

Hi Martin,
I think the spotted moth might be one of the Tigers but no idea which one.
The first macro appears to be a Mullein Wave and the third looks like the dark form of Devonshire Wainscot - both on the UK list.
Best wishes,

richard bartlett said...

The photo labelled 'Ditto' and the one below I think are both Lang's Short-tailed Blues.
The Spotted moth is Dysauxes punctata which you can find here: http://www.lepiforum.de/lepiwiki.pl?Dysauxes_Punctata


Martin Wainwright said...

Completely brilliant Richard!

Please keep them coming

I'm SO grateful

all warm wishes


Bill Meek said...

I think your 'bee micromoths' are in fact Lamoria anella'.

Bill Meek