Sunday, 8 May 2016

Happy days are here again

Taken with the iPad Mini

And with the camera

I stole out early this morning to keep a step ahead of the grandchildren, whose presence at moth identification adds to the fun but also to the confusion.

Joy! The very first eggbox was home to the Pine Beauty, top picture, Brimstone moth, just below, and Lunar Marbled Brown  - third picture, showing the tiny moon shape which gives it its name.

Safely on an eggbox
Less safely, on the granddaughter's leg
The prolonged 2016 Spring moth famine really seems to have ended, because further into the trap, there were several Hebrew Characters, Brindled Beauties, Quakers and Drabs  and a Shuttle-shape Dart, tucked away in an eggbox cone, below.

Also a lovely Buff Ermine:

and then this, another excellent moth to show thechildren when they wake up.  It's a Ruby Tiger, a very smart moth from its tawny-red fur collar to its cardinal red knee breeches.

Questing further and deeper into the eggboxes' recesses, I found this tortrix micro-moth below, but which is it? Expert help most welcome. Update: I have been a bit dim here. As Dave Wilton kindly points out on the unbeatable Upper Thames Moths blog, this is 'everyone's favourite: Epiphyas postvittana' I really should have known, sorry.

And there was also this pug moth, a fearsomely tricky family to ID correctly, and I would again be very grateful for help. My guess would be the Golden Rod.Update: Dave inclines more to the commoner Oak Tree Pug. And we have an oak tree but no Golden Rod.

On a wall nearby, meanwhile, there was another Brindled Beauty and this Early Grey:

A great day for the trap, therefore, and here is a collective picture to round things off:

Later in the day there were further excitements. We picnicked down by the river Cherwell and found a series of these curious little beasts. Are they baby crayfish? Or dragonfly nymphs? Update on 17 May after unrelated research into Maybugs and Mayflies. It's a Mayfly nymph.  I hope it enjoys its nymphood as adult Mayflies are notoriously short-lived. The record for brevity was a female which died of natural causes after five seconds.

And finally, when I was mattocking part of the beg patch in readiness for planting sweetcorn, I just providentially missed this pupa.  What will it turn out to be? Neither I nor the grandchildren can wait...

No comments: