Sunday, 12 June 2016

Pink stripe

The Blood-vein is a good name for today's top moth as you can see from the photo above. I've often wondered about the way that its rather distinctive patterning and colour might be used as camouflage. By chance, it was only the day before yesterday that I came up with a possible answer.

The Magnolia leaf above has an uncannily similar pink line across a whiteish background. Might the two be in any way related? The Moth Bible gives the species' foodstuffs as 'docks, common orache, common sorrel, knotgrass and probably other related plants'. Magnolia is not related and a quick flick through Google failed to produce any clear link between plant and moth. But I will search on. 

Here are two pictures, above and below, which show the same species of moth at different stages of life: freshly-emerged above, somewhat lifeworn below. If I am not mistaken (and please correct me if I am), they are Silver-ground Carpets, a familiar member of the delicate family whose name comes from 18th century entomologists' connection between their delicate pattern and carpets then arriving in the UK from the Middle and Far East.

A couple of pictures, next, of the Orange Footman which makes its home round here, even though its name makes it sound like a servant of the Dutch Royal family.

A welcome returnee, next, a fresh-looking Herald moth which must have woken only lately from hibernation. The moth, which has the distinction of appearing on the spine of the first edition of the Moth Bible, emerges in the Autumn but hibernates until May or June.

Finally, here's a trio of Cinnabars in the trap last night, all of which seemed to prefer the bulbholder to the eggboxes. The one on the right needs a bit of close looking to make it out.

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