Thursday, 6 July 2017

Small star

When I first started contributing occasional reports to the excellent Upper Thames Moths blog, one of the resident experts reassured me that I would in time overcome my impatience with the tiny legion of UK micromoths. That was four years ago and I am afraid to say that the time has not yet come. But I do make exceptions for tiny stars of the micro world such as the one above and below.

This beautifully-marked little chap - the second picture should give an idea of its size to those familiar with UK egg boxes, at least - is Agapeta zoegana, a micro described as 'common' in the Micromoth Bible but not one which I have ever seen before. A number of other contributors to the UTM blog have also noted its arrival as a 'garden first' and commented on the 'common' suggestion. Perhaps the answer lies in the Bible's fuller note which says that the moth only occasionally comes to light traps.

The ying-yang pattern would be envied by any artist or fashion designer and the colours are tastily reminscent of Tebor's banana split chews. A fine moth indeed.

Two other welcome visitors last night - when the delicious warmth brought me easily the biggest haul of the year to date; hundreds of moths albeit most very familiar - were these two Emeralds, a Common one above and a Small one in the three pictures below. Green is not a very common colour in UK moths which makes their appearance all the more of a pleasure.

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