Monday, 10 July 2017

Daytime outing for a Herald

My moth trap is on the blink at the moment; indeed 'blink' is an exaggeration of what the bulb is doing ie nothing. They usually last about a year and this one has gone a little beyond that. So the nights will be dark for a day or two until a new one arrives from the never-failing Watkins & Doncaster. They have been supplying me with butterfly and moth stuff since before I was a teenager. At the age of nine for instance, I was in receipt of a small bottle of pungent chloroformy liquid labelled 'Killing Fluid'. Imagine the fuss today. 

I bring you moths, however, because at this time of the year, they are very easily disturbed by day, especially if you are gardening, as I was this morning. It was nonetheless a nice surprise to set up a Herald, an extremely fine moth with a wing-shape unique in the UK. Its legs are also mediaevally cross-gartered, Malvolio-style.

The Herald is an eminent moth which featured for years on the spine of the Moth Bible although it has been replaced in the current, third edition by a Scarlet Tiger. The Bible notes its fondness for gloomy recesses in outbuildings or even caves and, indeed, the last one I saw was camped out on the spiral stone staircase which winds up our local church's tower.

The other reason that I am relaxed about my defunct bulb is that I have a very big backlog of unfeatured recent arrivals and here are some of them for your interest band delight. First, a Common Wave, as opposed to my last post's Common White Wave, but equally dainty. It is accompanied by a Bird-cherry Ermine, famous for the sometimes vast, tree- or even parked car-engulfing webs which its caterpillars weave.

Next we have another common but attractive micro, the Green Oak Tortrix or Tortrix viridana, followed by a Common Footman giving a Coronet a playful nudge. After them comes a Yellowtail, modestly trying to hide the reason for its name. I still hope to catch one this year sticking its tail up in the air, a habit confined, unsurprisingly, to the males.

I'll end, for now, with a trio of moths which share a mid-wing, glinty 'eye: the Clay, the Bright-line Brown-eye and the Brown-line Bright-eye - great to have those two sound-alikes together in the eggboxes. 

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