Friday, 16 June 2017

Oddly shaped

Human beings come in all shapes and sizes and so do moths. This morning's trap contained a couple of large and distinctive micromoths; so large and distinctive that I think that even I can identify them.

The streamlined character in my first two pictures, with the go-faster stripes shown on both sides in the top one, seems a fair bet to me to be a male Donacaula forficella. The females have a similar livery but are even longer with a more forked 'tail' to their wings when at rest. Both sexes have a fine pair of palps up front, those distinctive organs of insects which help them with touch and taste - sort of hand/tongues.

My second micro looks to me to be Calamotropha paludella, distinguishable from the rather similar macro, the Silky Wainscot, by the length of those self-same palps. Both these moths are classified as only locally common but with C. paludella expanding its range. Both are also fond of damp places, a description fitting our patch beside both a river and a canal, where a roving moth (or human) can find much in Nature to touch and taste.

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