The Snout is the Pinocchio of UK moths with its curious palps reaching much further forward in proportion to its body than those of most moths. These instruments, whose rough equivalents in humans are kept discreetly inside the mouth and nose, help the insect to test food plants, moisture and the like. They are not quite as much to be envied as moths' antennae, in which the human race is sadly lacking.
Here's a Straw Dot, above, one of three in the eggboxes which sheltered four Snouts altogether. Up above them at the top of the eggbox tower was this handsome visitor of another sort, below, which I take to be a Green Shield Bug. Update: no, I think my first Commentor is right to suggest that this is a Hawthorn Shield Bug. This has no connection with an Australian hockey competition for the Hawthorn Shield.
A Common Marbled Carpet, next in the sequence of photos, was accompanied by a smaller, different and very nice carpet moth of another kind. Initially this was resting with its wings held up over its body in butterfly fashion. On a slight, accidental nudge to the box, it swiftly changed to the more familiar, open-wings position, an excellent camouflage on bark or foliage and common in slightly varying forms to most of these small, delicate moths. Which Carpet is it? I remain unsure. Update: but my unfailing helpful commentors agree on Large Twin-spot. Many thanks.
I put the trap in the shade of an oak and a beech tree, surrounded on three sides by cow parsley. This is an ideal spot for attracting tiny flies - see below how the eggboxes filled up with the wriggly little things.
We also had a lustrously pink Elephant Hawk moth, teetering vertically on the edge of an eggbox precipice:
And that dashing, rakishly wing-angled moth, the Angle Shades. Like many of his or her predecessors, he or she chose to rest on an eggbox cone, apparently ready for a vertical take-off.
The category of small brown or grey moths was well-represented among the clientele, and the following four moths caught my eye. I think that the first four are Marbled Minors of different colourways and the fifth and sixth Rosy Marbled Minors, agreeable name. Please correct me if I am, as so often, wrong. Update: and I definitely am on the last two because, agreeable though it may sound, there is no such moth as the Rosy Marbled Minor. I was thinking of the Rosy Minor; but on closer inspection, I think these are Middle-barred Minors. Further update: See Trent's very interesting comment below on the frustrations of Minor IDs.
|Trent points out in Comments that the Minor's little pal is Celypha striana.|
And finally, a micro whose identity I hope to establish before night falls and, rain permitting, the light comes on again. Update: but I didn't. Thankfully both my commentors have. It's Mompha subbistrigella. Once again, heartfelt thanks, both.