Sunday, 7 May 2017

Excellent company

There was an outstanding guest list in the trap this morning: the two magnificent hawk moths shown above and two lovely, if contrastingly small, Carpet moths, one of them definitely new to my records and the other probably so.

The hawks are a Poplar similar to the one which arrived on Saturday night as my first hawkmoth of 2017, and an Eyed, superficially dull as in my photo just above, but then flashing its wonderful 'eyes' on its hindwings when disturbed (I gave it a gentle tickle).

The Eyed Hawk also has a fine flash of salmon pink on the underside of its forewing, presumably another defence weapon to flash when in danger. In this it resembles the Poplar Hawk which exposes the more russet red patch on its hindwings when alarmed. I show both below, Eyed Hawk first and then Poplar.

The definitely new Carpet was the Scorched, appropriately-named visitor for someone such as myself who has a record of spilling our early morning tea on the bedroom carpet. The reason for its name is more apparently on its underside, apparently. I read this after coming indoors following my photograph session. I nipped out to see if I could get the underside but the moth - just below - had scarpered.

I was lucky to get a decent photograph of it all, as it happened, since it initially chose to roost on the black plastic of the trap bowl which completely throws my camera. When I tried to lure it on to a fragment of eggbox, it flew off. Luckily, I tracked it to the leaf of our Magnolia grandiflora.

My second delightful Carpet visitor did the same thing and again, hooray, I managed to follow its flight to a patch of lawn nearby.  I have had a note for ages on my Records page saying 'Sandy Carpet', but no photograph. Since I can't find any record in the blog via Google (and just don't have time to read through it from start to finish), I'm content to treat this little scrap of capuccino-coloured moth as my first definite record.

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