Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Oliver Cromwell would have liked today's moth. According to the Earl of Clarendon, in his History of the Great Rebellion, the Lord Protector declaimed: "I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain who knows what he fights for an loves what he knows, than that you call a Gentleman and is nothing else."

The Ruby Tiger is russet-coated, but far from plain. Close inspection reveals its fancy red knee breeches and a lot of other tasty detail. Mind you, it is reluctant to show the best parts such as its ruby wine-coloured underwings. Although these are presumably in part warning coloration, the Ruby Tiger has to be mightily provoked to flash them.

Hence this picture, above, of me apparently molesting the moth. At least I got a decent glimpse of the red knickerbockers and they stayed exposed long enough for you to get something of the idea via my camera.


Curiously, although last night was the moth's first appearance in the garden this year, there were two very different specimens. The handsome one in good condition shown in all but one of the pictures; and a rather sad, tatty relative, upside-down and comatose in another eggbox, which appears below.

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