Sunday, 26 March 2017

Alone and palely loitering

Nice to have something different in the trap the other night: a Pale Pinion, lured out of hibernation by the warmer weather - though, having said that, the nights are still pretty chilly. I am keeping my fingers crossed against untimely frost which could nip the Spring blossom, magnolias especially, which is cheering the world up so much at the moment.

The Pale and closely related Tawny Pinions are interesting moths in that they resist the urge to mate which is so extraordinarily powerful in most moths - within hours in the case species such as the Emperor moth. Instead, the pinions fly and nectar contentedly in October and November before squirreling themselves into cracks in the bark of trees and going to sleep until March.

Then they re-emerge as this one has done, find a mate and start the cycle all over again. The unfaddy caterpillar feasts on ivy and bramble among many other plants before constructing a stout cocoon underground and beginning the process of changing into an adult moth.

Otherwise, the trap paid host to the brethren usual for this time of the year: the Clouded Drab shown, three Common Quakers and a March moth.

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