Friday, 15 July 2016

Solitary soul

I nearly lost him. I have to shake my camera now to make it work and the shaking threw up a cloud of moths. Luckily the Nut-tree Tussock found my dressing gown to be a safe haven

My most interesting moth this morning was this Nut-tree Tussock, the first of the new generation to arrive here. The moths were about in April and May and this is one of their children, freshly-hatched from a chrysalis after a short period as a caterpillar like the one below which was painted way back in 1805 by woman in Shropshire called Katherine Plymley.

That comes courtesy of Shrewsbury Museums Service which hosts a very good online catalogue; and it shows how long we have known about and classified this moth. Its place in the great Linnaean structure is interesting; it is the only real UK member of the Pantheinae sub-family of Noctuid moths.

The other two tentatively mentioned in the Moth Bible are the Brother moth, a North American species which made its way in July 1949 to UK Government scientists' famous Rothamsted experimental station in Hertfordshire; and a solitary Marbled Tuffet, another North American visitor, which was found in May 1952 in a light trap in Plumstead, Kent, run by a Mr C H Hards. He was a great enthusiast who imported chrysalises from the United States and the likelihood is that this was one of his brood with a properly American taste for adventure.

Mind you, there may be more to them than this. I recall that American and British spies in James Bond and the like refer to one another as 'the cousins'. Perhaps 'the Brother' has some similar meaning, especially as the moth made a beeline for the Government's moth trap.

Anyway...  Here are some more of my backlog, which I group together as 'tweedy gents'. Their livery resembles the sort of outfit worn by Edward VII, GPs when I was a boy and that sort of person.

Dark Arches


Mmmmm once more

Poplar Grey


Grey or Dark Dagger

Marbled Minor with small pal

Sycamore from the side


Poplar Grey once more

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