Saturday, 23 July 2016

Cheeky chappy

The cheekiest moth in my ten or so years of moth trapping was snoozing in the eggboxes this morning. A micro, Endotricha flammea, (I think), he allowed me one quick snap (left) but then fluttered off. I thought I had lost him but when I looked at the digital image for my next picture, there was a moth-shaped blur. Carefully, I turned the camera over and it was him, nattily perched on the lens.

The view through the lens

I gave him five gold stars for excellent behaviour because he sat quietly while I tip-toed back inside to get the iPad and take the picture showing him on the camera. In fact, it was quite hard to persuade him to go at all. I ended up like a child trying to blow out an obstinate birthday cake candle, puffing away at him until he fluttered off into the safety of a nearby bush. Update: I've added a snap of the last time a moth invaded my camera - a Scarlet Tiger on Bastille Day, 14 July, in 2013.

My second moth was cited the other day by a nice commentor as the reason he discovered this blog, while looking online for photographs of the startling pink abdomen of the 'dazzle camouflage' star, the Black Arches. This is one of my favourite moths and I had a very enjoyable sesh with the one shown here. It's quite tricky provoking them into giving you a peep of the pink, hence the blurring. He took off shortly afterwards and followed the micro into the bush.

The moth's dazzle camouflage effect
And here's how he looks from head-on
Another moth in motion this morning was this Swallowtail, a common but lovely regular at the moment. I'm occasionally asked to identify moths for other people (a risky request as regular readers well know!) and someone on Twitter sent me a pic just yesterday of a Swallowtail moth on their ceiling.  This one posed for one picture and then clambered off into a slightly gawky take-off using my specs as its runway.

Finally another fine underbelly, this time on a Ruby Tiger. It is tricky to get these moths to show their finery - as well as those lovely russet forewings, they have ruby underwings which they seldom show when at rest. But this one seems less coy than many.

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