Saturday, 8 October 2016


One of our churchwardens contacted me this week to say that he had found two creatures in the church tower which he thought might be moths. He was right. This intimate pair are Heralds, moths of great distinction because they adorn the spine of the UK moth Bible on which I depend for my - often still shaky - identifications. 

The churchwarden in question is a great devotee of Hoovering and had recently borrowed a huge industrial machine to suck all the detritus acquired since the early 19th century out of the building. I am glad that I was able to save these two innocent and interesting moths from his zeal for a temple with totally polished corners.

Meanwhile, I have treated myself to these seeds - Nicotiana or Tobacco Plants, after a string of accounts on the Upper Thames Moths blog from people who grew these plants this year and as a result, attracted Convolvulus Hawk moths.  The species' fondness for the plants, and its apparent ability to detect their presence from considerable distances (like the lusty male Emperor moths which I have written about here before) is one of the remarkable features of the mothy world.

I hope that the result of my investment will mirror the name of the variety - Sensation. Meanwhile, here is another feature of the Convolvulus Hawk, courtesy of the Alamy picture agency: the tongue or proboscis which enables it to extract nectar from Tobacco plants is so long that it has its own casing in the pupa.

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