Saturday, 8 August 2015

Cover girl (or boy)

In my restless quest for novelty, probably a legacy of my past occupation, I balanced the trap on top of a hedge last night under the benign boughs of a beech and an oak. I was rewarded with an unusually interesting turnout of micromoths, those midgets of the night-time flying world, whose tiny size, complications and sometimes drab colouring can leave me cold.

Not this time. As you will perhaps agree from the first three, size needn't matter. In order they are - to the best of my belief - Pammene aurita, Pyrausta aurata (interesting material for a Latin discussion in those names; I will return to the subject) and Carcina quercana.  The last, whose 'surname' refers to the sheltering oak tree already mentioned, is a distinguished moth for he or she forms the cover star on the Micro-moth Bible.

There were quite a few other micros in the eggboxes and I show them below. I will try to find time to nail them later but must meanwhile do some Hoovering, for we expect visitors. My thumb comes in handy in the first one, to show the extreme smallness of these creatures:

There were also a great many wasps, as in the last picture above, which made checking the eggboxes a careful affair. Mind you, I am not specially troubled by wasp stings and don't mind if wasps want to buzz about in my vicinity. they are even quite interesting to examine. I wonder, for instance, if the different patterning of the black and yellow on the thoraxes of these two below has any significance.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin.

I think you first three are likely correct, for the others I would personally go:
Agapeta hamana
Red-barred Tortrix, only because I remembered the one Trent IDed a while back when I couldn't make A.holmiana fit.
Cydia splendana
Cydia splendana
an undissected swing at Eudonia mercurella, maybe Holly Tortrix but not confident and I think another Cydia splendana
Acleris forsskaleana,which I think you IDed on your own a couple of weeks ago.

You're a braver man than me with the wasps by the way!

Martin Wainwright said...

Aah - words which are music to my ears, if only because they are so unfamiliar as I blunder around with my IDs: "Your first three are likely correct". Hooray!

Thanks v much for your advice on the others which I will look at again. Typical that I probably got one of them right only a few weeks ago...

Thanks so much as ever and all warm wishes