Sunday, 2 October 2016

The future (past and present) are ALL orange

Autumn's continuing blaze of orange and yellow, courtesy of the Sallow family of moths, reminds me of a spectacular event in Worcester in the winter of 2013/14, based on...MOTHS!

The county and city councils' noble and imaginative museum service had the brilliant idea of using the insects to create a spectacular story for parades and tableaux in the city's streets, designed to widen interest in the rich collections (including of moths, but very many other things besides). 

It subtly used the word 'MOTH' as its acronym, short for Museums on the High Street, and you can see from my pictures, taken from an excellent commemorative booklet, that the High Street was a pretty amazing place to be.  The parades and associated events were woven round the story of a Victorian woman entomologist (quite a numerous breed in real life, with characters like Margaret Fountaine and Mary de la Beche Nicholl) and her adventures with giant moths. Lady and moth are shown inset, left.

Back in my garden, the lovely Barred Sallow shown at the top of this post and just below was joined by the other that species two colour forms, by a Pink-Barred Sallow and a different variety of the plain Sallow from the one which came two nights ago. You may be wondering about the apparent misnomer 'sallow' which in humans denotes an unhealthy appearance. The Sallow moths look anything but unhealthy; the name refers to the food plant which most of them enjoy.

The trap also produced this year's first Green-brindled Crescents, a lovely early Autumn moth with vivid flecks of metallic green among its otherwise sober (but intriguingly patterned) wing scales.

Also snoozing peacefully: an Angle Shades, a Deep-brown Dart (the companion moth to all the Black Rustics about at the moment) and a Beaded Chestnut (I think, though this sort of moth invariably muddles me). Update: as it has this time. The final moth is a Brown-spot Pinion. Many thanks to Richard in Comments.


richard bartlett said...

Hi Martin,

I think the large, round orbicular stigmata show that this a Brown-spot Pinion. Beaded Chestnut would have very narrow, angular orbicular stigmata.


Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks so much, Richard. I was very much hoping that someone wise such as yourself would come to my rescue. All warm wishes, M