Sunday, 24 May 2015

The rest of last night's gang

I mentioned earlier today that my lovely Puss Moth was attended by a veritable army of other overnight guests, and here are some of the more interesting (and those whose identity escapes me, as is so often the case). These first two are examples of moths with metallic markings produced by light-reflecting wing scales rather than the usual pigment; the Gold Spot above and the Plain (although actually very far from plain) Golden Y below.

Next we have one of the most strangely-patterned of our native species, the Scorched Wing, whose curious colouring has influenced 'dazzle camouflage' which disorientates the eye and was used to good effect in naval ships during the First World War.

Common Swifts have been extremely common visitors to the trap in the last fortnight and fgeature in recent posts but the next moth is the first of the completely plain examples which occur from time to time, with none of the bold white markings of most of the type.

Next, the year's first Marbled Minor, followed by a Treble Lines, another debut, and two returnees, Lychnis and a Flounced Rustic Update: the last is actually a Clouded-bordered Brindle, sorry.

Update - sorry, I'm sure this is a Clouded-bordered Brindle, whose dark (combusta) variety arrived a few days later and was kindly ID-ed by Dave Wilton of Upper Thames Moths

Here's another nice newcomer, too: a Buff Ermine, perched alongside a capsized and sleepy White Ermine, its close relative.

My new camera (or it may be me) hasn't got the hang of accurate colour yet, so here's a second picture in which the buffness of the Buff is perhaps clearer:

And now more Carpets or similar frail but complex-patterned moths whose identities I need to resolve, given time and patience. I think the third one down is a Twin-spot Carpet and the fourth perhaps a Balsam, though it may just be a Common Carpet:

The last one above may well be a Common Marbled Carpet. That would be my bet. And I will just put in one which I do know, to cheer myself up even though I have already featured it this year. Unsurprisingly, this is a Green Carpet:

And now a couple of the Carpets' even smaller (and harder to identify) relatives, the Pug moths. I think that the first is a Common Pug - but Update, thanks to five-year-old Aidan in Comments, I now agree with him that this is a Dotted Pug - and the second (more shakily cos it seems too early) a Bordered Pug and the third (also shakily) a Mottled Pug. Correction and advice warmly welcome. 

And lastly, two of my lifelong enemies: dull grey moths which I never seem to be able to nail. Could the first be that sadly-named creature, the Lead-coloured Drab? Loads of moths then, and loads of work to do too. And another excellent night isunder way as I write, at least in weather terms, so I predict much more to come.


Anonymous said...

I think that the pug you thought was a Common Pug was actually a White Spotted Pug.

I like your blog.

5 years old
As dictated to mummy

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Aidan and thanks VERY much. I am very impressed with your knowledge and I'm sure that you are right about the pug. I just looked up the White-spotted and see that it ikes damp places. That would figure, as we liver very close to both the river Cherwell and the Oxford canal. Any further help you can give me at any time would be gratefully received. Although I am a lot older than you - 13 times as old - I still have terrible difficulty with pugs, carpets and what I call browny-grey middle-sized moths which all see to meto look the same.

Good luck with your own moths and any other hobbies you have - and many thanks to you secretary (Mummy) too

All warm wishes and I'm very glad you like the blog