Saturday, 7 November 2015

Satellite landings

The Satellite moth spends the whole winter lurking about but is only usually tempted to the light trap by mild weather.  Accordingly, three of them were snoozing in the eggboxes this morning, along with three Feathered Thorns. My top picture shows the two different types of moth apparently sussing one another out.

The Satellite comes in two liveries: the browny one shown in that picture and the much more notable one with darker background colouring and two bright satellite patterns on its wings.

The pattern accounts for the name - a moon with two little satellites - and also much resembles one of the alien enemies which you had to shoot down in the computer game Space Invaders. I like to think that an entomologist might have been involved in the game's design.

Also in the trap: this handsome moth, which I think is a Beaded Chestnut.


Trent Duval said...

Hi Martin,
I see both versions of Satellite in equal numbers in my Bedfordshire garden, but a specimen with a brownish/orange "moon" and 2 white "satellites" appeared in my trap a couple of weeks ago so I guess any combination is possible.

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Trent - very interesting - and by coincidence I got one last night (Nov 19/20) which is brownish but has a much lighter inside satellite

all warm wishes (though it's gone very cold)