Monday, 16 November 2015

Lonesome nights

These are lonely times in the moth trap's eggboxes, but they are not quite deserted. Wind and rain seem to be alternating at the moment and on Saturday night we were down to one bedraggled Autumnal/November moth. But last night thinks looked up a little.

First to come to light (late afternoon sunlight, that is, as other tasks kept me from investigating earlier, was the perky little Red-green Carpet, parading the tip of its abdomen proudly. That's where the reproductive coupling goes on.

Next a sleekly handsome Blair's Shoulder-knot, an immigrant species in the UK when it was first discovered in 1951 on the Isle of Wight by Dr Blair, late of the Natural History Museum, whose expertise and coastal habitat also led to the discovery of Blair's Wainscot and Blair's Mocha. Now it has clearly established breeding colonies, to have regular, fine-condition arrivals so late in the year.

And finally, this Setaceous Hebrew Character, sporting the Hebrew letter 'Nun', the equivalent of 'N', on its wings as a reminder of the legendary occasion when it had the temerity to speak directly to God, rather than through one of his moth-minded angels. 'Setaceous' means bristly, which again may refer to private parts.

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