Wednesday, 15 July 2015


One of the most appealing wing patterns among moths, to my eye, is marbling which I touched on the other day via that pretty butterfly, the Marbled White. Here by coincidence are two mothy examples: the Marbled Green above, and the Marbled Beauty, below.

The UK's moth-namers of the 18th century must have debated these names in the London coffee houses where they used to meet, because in terms of beauty, there is little to choose between the two species. Indeed, I would give the edge to the Marbled Green, but I guess that its delicate green-ness, an unusual colour in moths, took priority in terms of useful, practical ID.

Does the colouring of both moths meanwhile remind you of anything else in the natural world? Yes, lichen. I would have sought out a patch to provide a background illustrative of moths' brilliant and ever-varied camouflage. But it was raining. Thanks to the RSPB for the little lichen pic. 

On a historical note, I checked back to last year's blog and noted that both species came in a companionable way to see me on the night of 27 July; and further back, on the same date in 2011 in Leeds, I took the picture below of a Marbled Beauty on the surprisingly pretty dimpled metal of the trap lamp's collar. In passing, I noted that the number of visits to the blog has now passed 250,000, so many thanks to all who pass by.

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