Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Wing and a prayer
There is much discussion in the moth-enamoured world about when - or even if - we are going to have a winter this year. A sort of continuous Autumn seems to have set in, with the result that all sorts of species are about which shouldn't properly be, and vice versa.
Today's moth is an example. I couldn't make head or tail of it to start with, and not just because it's in such a battered state. But scanning the Moth Bible and inspecting the resting posture, wing shape and body colour, eventually convinced me that it must be a Pale Brindled Beauty.
Dave Wilton on Upper Thames Moths has confirmed this, and added that the moth's tatty state is interesting 'so early in its life'. He says this because the PBB is a moth which is usually on the wing from January to March, with only occasional examples found in late December. Yet here we are in early December, and here is a Pale Brindled Beauty which has clearly been around.
It is a male mind you - only the males have TV aerial antennae like this. So - bearing in mind yesterday's gender discussion here - maybe it's got itself into some kind of lads' fight. It still had plenty of spirit and shortly after I teased it into showing its antennae, it whirred its battered wings and flew away. There was only one other moth in the eggboxes: this Common Plume below. Its Linnaean name is Emmelina mondactyla which I translate as Emmy Monoplane.