Wednesday, 8 July 2015


The Angle Shades is no stranger to readers of this blog, but I can never resist its rakish lines. The jet fighter of UK moths, it holds back its wings in a uniquely folded way. It even has a version of RAF roundels.

What a beautiful finger the Angle Shades is sitting on. It must be Penny's
But no. She doesn't have nails like that. It's ME!
Here's one which came last night, apparently about to take off from my towel (which is also quite a pleasing object in close-up). The soft olive greens and pinkish violet of the wings remind me of the Suffragette colours - Green, White, Violet for 'Give Women Votes'.

By chance a second moth with the same colour combination also flew in last night, the Coronet, whose colouring is exquiaitely subtle. On a superficial look, it may be dismissed as speckledy black, but just take a look at the close-up picture.

Although my focussing is not exactly the world's finest, I think you can make out the little scales which hang on moths' wings like roof tiles and give them their colours and patterns. It is the same principle as those amazing 'crowd pictures' laid on by North Koreans at big events, just about the one thing at which that unfortunate country is a world champion.

You can also see that some of the tiles are missing, just as on an old roof. I often get really battered specimens flying in at the end of the season whose scales/tiles have vanished altogether. But they can still get airborne.

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