Friday, 22 July 2016


Every day brings a new type of moth at this warm time of the year. Today's is a Shaded Broad-bar, above. It is quite easy to pass over smallish moths such as this, thinking that they are some familiar form of Carpet or similar, especially when you have been going through trap eggboxes for as many years as I have. I nearly did that with the S B-b but fortunately some small, inner voice murmured: 'Just check that one out again. And here it is.

My eye was instantly caught, in contrast, by my second moth: a Brown China-mark micro of the type which I was describing yesterday. It isn't quite as trim as the one I showed then; time and tide have given it a bit of a battering. Moths are lucky to last for even a few weeks with all the hazards they face, from buffeting wind and rain to predatory birds and bats.

They battle on, though, often with their wings in a similar condition to those shot-up aircraft we used to have in our War Picture Library weekly comics as boys. This sturdy Small Elephant has survived a peck or the rip of a bramble bush without any effect on its flying powers. Disturbed by my operations, it flew powerfully off.

What is this, above? Reluctantly, I must add it to my list of unknowns. I am pretty sure that it is a pug moth but there are too many of those and they are sufficiently alike to raise doubt in expert minds. For now, I will guess that it's a Freyer's Pug and hope that someone more knowledgable may decide in due course.

No such problems with my final moth today, a Burnished Brass form aurea, so smart that I think that it must be one of the new generation which hatches around now. I can spend happy ages photographing this moth and trying to do justice to the gleam of its metallic scales. The camera doesn't like them which adds to the challenge of the exercise.

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