Tuesday, 28 July 2015

My the moth be with you

I was very pleased to see a melanic, dark form of the Peppered moth in the trap this morning - the celebrated form carbonaria which plays such a part in online discussions about evolution. I don't know whether I should advise you to pursue these as they can be addictive, both because of the interest of the topic and also the passion shown by some participants, especially on the non-Darwinian side of the debate.

I'll say no more, having discussed the issue many times here. The only novelty I can claim this time, apart from the fabulous appearance of both my thumb and my pyjamas in the pictures, is that I made a deliberate effort to target the very few sprinklings of white 'pepper' on the moth. They are on its 'face' and forelegs. Everything else is sooty as our old chimneys used to be in Leeds.

I'm also re-posting a picture I took two years ago showing carbonaria alongside the standard form - that night they flew in together. The difference is striking, but both are the same moth.


Sue said...

Lovely moth, and I love the Latin name carbonaria, very appropriate! We have had lots of peppered moths in the trap this summer, but they are now reducing in numbers, as the footmen are increasing - 25 commons, and 2 buffs on Saturday night.

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Sue - thanks v much. The footmen are everywhere, aren't they. Strange little creatures! all warm wishes