Saturday, 22 August 2015

Colonsay moths

Although Martin's Moths is enjoying a minor technological triumph, with this the second post to reach you from remote lands, the same cannot be said of the famous ferry operator, Caledonian Macbrayne. Its ships are lovely with their red funnels, like the Mersey ferries, and are nicely celebrated in a little ceiling fresco in Colonsay's disused 'phone kiosk - detail below.  In the words of the rhyme taught to us as schildren on a Hebridean holiday:

"The Good Lord made the seas
And all that they contain
But all that sails upon them
Was made by John Macbrayne"

but the one to Colonsay went wrong yesterday and so here we are still on the island. But the sun is shining, so we're not complaining. And the episode led to the discovery of a moth.

It's the one shown above, which fluttered from my grandchild's folded buggy when a friend hoicked it out of the boot of our car. I think it's a Common or Lesser Common Rustic although it looks possibly a bit more exciting than that; but my Moth Bible is stashed away in a suitcase until tonight so we will all have to be patient until then. Update: See Comments. It's one of the four Ear moths. But which? More on this soon.

It's my fourth moth from Colonsay which isn't too bad, given that I haven't got the trap. The first was the Antler Moth in my second picture, which came to the porch light of the cottage where we are staying. The second was the Carpetty subject of my third picture and the third was a Buff Ermine which I found, sadly expired, on our kitchen windowsill.

Yesterday's Dark Green Fritillary remains the entomological highlight of our week on this lovely island, along with jewel-like Common Blues which dart around the coastal pastures. But we also had the happiness of finding this lizard which sat docile - or petrified - in Penny's palm while our granddaughter stroked it and started singing 'Ee-AyEe-Ay-O' , the chorus of Old Macdonald which is currently her response to all wild animals.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin.

Your Noctuid that isn't the Antler Moth is, I think, one of the Ear Moths, but which one I don't know. It looks to me most like one of the Large Ear pictures on Ukmoths(in particular the kidney mark), but it seems there are no 100 per cent definitive characteristics and it's a group which needs it's 'bits' looking at. The Carpety style moth looks quite pointy in shape, but it's pattern seems to maybe be more like one of the Marbled Carpets(Dark/Common). Hopefully looking through the book you'll be able to solve the mystery. I am MASSIVELY jealous of you holding the lizard. Is it a female Common? I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi there and very many thanks again. I squirreled out the Bible last night (we are now in the far North of Sutherland with wobbly wifi, so no posting today) and realised that I'd found an Ear, as it were. It sounds as if they are pretty indistingusihable without intimate examination and alas the moth is far away on Colonsay.

Yes, the lizard was great - just spotted movement in the grass as we wandered home from yet another sunny beach

Home soon

all warm wishes and thanks again