Saturday, 2 May 2015

Fast breeder

The nights remain chilly and catches thin, but there were a couple of nice moths among the eggboxes this morning. The Brimstone, whose eponymous butterfly pal is very common round here during the daytime, brings a welcome splash of bright colour to the rather understated palette of most UK moths.

Quite by chance, a little seed in the box shares the buttery yellow and brown of the moth in my picture, above. Don't worry, it isn't a bit of the insect that's flaked away. The Brimstone will cheer me up for the rest of the summer. Relatively unusually, it has at least three broods before October. Another curiosity of its entry in the Moth Bible is a reference to its caterpillars feeding on - among many other things - the Wayfaring Tree. Better known as viburnum, this is not one for you and me to nibble. The fruits cause diarrhea and vomiting in weedy old humans.

The other agreeable moth was this Common Quaker in very good condition and there was also a Brindle Beauty, a tabbycat of a moth, and four Hebrew Characters. Meanwhile, here's a close-up of two of my Emperor Moth cocoons which - pace yesterday's post - seem set on slumbering for another year. Note how soil and even a small pebble have been woven in as camouflage and armour, assisting the row of spikes around one end of the cocoon to deter predators.


Ragged Robin said...

No further Emperor Moth emergence yet here either. My cocoons also have leaves, twigs, and bits of kitchen paper (used to line caterpillar cage) around them! I've been spraying mine with tepid water once or twice a day as suggested by person who gave me the eggs - presumably to soften them?. I am sure I read somewhere they can take up to 4 years to emerge!!!

MartinWainwright said...

Goodness, I didn't know we had to be that patient. Oh well. Good luck with yours All warm wishes as ever M

Ragged Robin said...

Just to let you know I had a perfect male emerge the day before yesterday. Very exciting. So hopefully both of us will have more emerge this month :) Best wishes Caroline.

MartinWainwright said...

Great news! You had me scuttling to the shed to check on mine. But no, they slumber on. All warm wishes, M