Monday, 18 July 2016

We can't all be stars

Some of today's post is rather commonplace, as my headline suggests, so I thought I'd start off with a splash of colour. Penny's birthday brought out the moth stars as always, prime among them the fine Garden Tiger above.

The original sleeping position - though flexed antennae show he's waking up

Moth and woolly
 bear from Ernst Kreidorff's
 drawings for the Swiss
 children's book Der
Traumgarten (The Dream Garden)
If a moth can be legendary, in the sense of being a cultural icon, this is the one. My children's books invariably chose it when they needed to illustrate references to moths. It has the colourful beauty of a butterfly, sometimes flies by day and boasts an equally famous caterpillar: the 'woolly bear' which was the bane of parents concerned about skin rashes. (One of my uncles, a kindly dermatologist, took the opposite view as skin irritations caused by plants and wildlife were a constant source of fascination - and skilled detective work - for him).

Transferred to an eggbox and definitely on the qui-vive

Here is my Tiger during various stages of snooziness and waking up, before it winged its way powerfull off to the shelter of some trees. You can see my small assistant in the background. She is a specialist at releasing dozy moths into the wild, with reassuring murmurs of "Don't worry, moth. Don't be frightened, moth."

Getting ready for take-off

And on the runway

Another very agreeable birthday visitor was the Marbled Green below, a moth which has spread rapidly inland after years confined mostly to coastal and chalkland parts of the UK. I can spend ages enjoying its lovely wing patterns. I wonder if William Morris and his school ever came across one of these.

Now it's back log, time - first with a picture of a spider and her egg ball, a stage in the creature's life which in some species follows a charming courtship ritual which culminates in the male offering his inamorata a beautifully-wrapped fly. We are recovering physically from a weekend of childcare. Thank goodness we are not spiders.

The rest of the post explains my headline; below are nice but unexceptional moths which I am in the process of ID-ing, very leisurely. Any assistance appreciated, as always.

Mmmm 1 Update: Nutmeg, I think. Later Update: Or is it, and the one below, a Flounced Rustic? I am checking with Upper Thames Moths Final Update thanks to Upper Thames Moths blog experts: It's a Large Nutmeg; I was almost right first time

Mmmm 2

Marbled Minor on the right but left is Mmmm 3. Update: I think that it's another Marbled Minor

Shears and Marbled Minor

Mmmm 5 Update: another Nutmeg, I think. Later update: Or Flounced Rustic? Final Update: another Large Rustic

Mmmm 6

Marbled Minor

an another

Mmmm 7

Which Pug?

Just need a spell with the Moth Bible for this one. Update: and I think that it's a Small Square-spot

This one's unfamiliarity interests me a lot and I shall browse with care. Update: Upper Thames Moths experts say Rustic Shoulder-knot (like the Large Nutmeg above, this pic dates back to late June, so big is my backlog 

Mmmm 8

These next three are Marbled Minors of some sort which I will soon nail

Worn Setaceous Hebrew Character

And that's it. Just one more backlog post to come.


NormaPP said...

Hi Martin, ive recently subscribed to yourblog and am really enjoying your interpretation of moths!

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi there and I'm very glad you're enjoying it. I just wish I was better at identifying them!

all warm wishes


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin

I'm no good at any of your mystery moths,but I've had a punt on
mm2 a Highflyer? mm6 Small Square-spot? an other could be a Marbled Minor?
mm7 Large Nutmeg? Which Pug? Always tough but Common? mm8 The Uncertain?

nothing i'm particularly confident of though,sorry