Thursday, 23 June 2016


You will hardly need reminding that today has been an important one for Britain. But a moth blog is probably not the place to add another little chirrup on a subject which has been so thoroughly aired. Suffice it to say that I am a firm supporter of remaining in - and reforming - the European Union. I also regret that appealing to the worst side in all of us has obscured the reputable arguments on the side of Leave.

Whatever, it has at least been a memorable day for my moths and natural history more widely. Look at these lovely creatures on one of our delphiniums: a Small Elephant Hawk and (bottom moth, warming up for escape in the second picture) an Elephant Hawk. The latter also features in the third picture, keeping its beady eye on Referendum voters.

And here they both are again, along with one of two Poplar Hawks which also visited the trap.

Meanwhile, on the walk across a couple of fields to the Polling Station, Penny and I were delighted to find the first Bee Orchids of the year growing in wonderful profusion. They included a single specimen bursting with flower buds; in my previous experience, three or four have been the most one could expect.

Appropriately, the moth trap also came up with the Bee Moth, one of the UK's largest micros - you can see from my picture that it is almost as long as the nearby, dozing Heart and Dart macro moth. The Bee Moth is a fascinating creature whose name comes from its larva's habit of living in bees' nests, feeding off old cells, detritus and sometimes live young. All the time, unmolested by the adult bees.

Here are some of the eggboxes' other Referendum Day residents; an interesting bunch but somewhat outdone by the stars above:

Small Emerald with its lovely green fading to a washed-out light cream, as sadly happens. Update: Many thanks to my commentor for correcting me. This is a faded Light Emerald, sorry.

Riband Wave

One of the Pugs but I know not which

Dark Arches
Light Arches, a lovely moth
Bordered White - one of a small number of UK moths which appear to think that they are butterflies, at least in terms of resting with their wings folded like this, rather than outspread or horizontally over their backs


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin

I think your Small Emerald may be a Light Emerald.

Martin Wainwright said...

Many thanks - you are quite right. Much obliged as ever, M