Friday, 29 May 2015

What a rude moth

I don't suppose you ever expected to turn to this blog and find a moth flicking a V-sign at you. But there it is, courtesy of the very bizarre-looking Pale Prominent. Apart from its soft, grey colouring, this curious creature reminds me of a Cadbury's Flake, those chocolate bars whose yellow wrappers had to be folded into a funnel at school to make sure the little flaky bits which had crumbled off didn't end up on the desk or floor.

More relevantly, it also resembles a bit of twig and I would imagine that this gives it a particularly good record in escaping predators. Mind you, the hunting mechanisms of birds are very different from ours and I suspect that movement by prey is more important in many cases than appearance. I say this because I have sometimes carelessly left the eggboxes out with moths also lying on my kneeler pad, when I have been distracted after photographing the morning's catch, and in almost all cases they have survived the attentions of inquisitive robins and blackbirds.

It is only the male Pale Prominent which has the twin tails and, given that the tip of a moth's body is where the action takes place in breeding terms, I guess they must serve some purpose related to sexual attraction. Note, though, that the moth is nicely proportionate, with equally long palps, organs primarily designed for testing whether material is edible.

Update: this is the dark (combusta) version of the Clouded-bordered Brindle - many thanks to Dave Wilton of Upper Thames Moths

Here are some of last night's other visitors, which I have yet to identify apart from the dark-n-light couple of Heart and Darts and the Common Wainscot at the bottom. It was a busier evening than most have been recently, probably because of warmer temperatures. Update: I have taken my courage in both hands and put my best shot at IDs in the captions. Endorsement or ridicule equally welcome.

Update: I think this is a Clouded Drab. Further update: nope, Dave Wilton says it's a Rustic Shoulder-knot.

Update: I'm going for Small Square-spot

Update: I reckon this to be a Brown Rustic

Update: And this to be another Small Square-spot

1 comment:

lee woo said...

Anytime anybody is rude, it makes me double-check my own behavior to make sure I don't do that to other people. See the link below for more info.