Monday, 11 April 2016

Just pretending



One of the ways to tell a  butterfly from a moth (apart from browsing my handy guide  by clicking on the tab above), is to note the way that insects hold their wings.  Almost all butterflies clasp them together vertically above their bodies; almost all moths fold them back horizontally.

However, there are exceptions, as with almost every rule. Last night I was visited by one of them, the Early Thorn, a Spring moth which imitates the butterfly wing position when at rest.  It is not like a butterfly in any other way, with its dumpy body, feathery antennae and jinking, rather frenzied manner of flight. It can be on the wing from late February, so mine is rather a late Early Thorn. It's the first to come calling this year.

There were also several Common Quakers, Hebrew Characters and March moth (again, a little out of synch) in the eggboxes, some of which were damp after heavy overnight rain. Mr and Mrs Robinson's simple but wonderfully effective rainshield did its work, however, and my expensive mercury vapour bulb didn't blow.

Perched on another eggbox was the lovely Brindled Beauty below. A real tabby cat of a moth.

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