Monday, 21 August 2017

Catching up

The weather and other demands have limited trapping in the last few days, so I have been checking on recent arrivals for moths which I have not featured here. They include this trio of Prominents - Swallow, Pebble and Iron - which all obligingly spread their wings to an extent while at rest, rather than holding them tightly together in the usual position which gives them their characteristic, streamlined profile.

Completely different, we have had a series of virtually tame Red Admiral butterflies seeking out warm, sunlit walls on which to rest. You spot them when they open their wings to bask and thus add a small splash of red to the landscape of grey and honey-coloured stone. This one, however, closed its wings just when I had finally sorted myself to take the picture. The underside is much duller and more camouflaged, but it is still a lovely-looking insect.

The next picture appeals to me as another trio, this time of odd companions: a worn Mother-of-Pearl micro-moth, a Common Carpet and a fine little beetle. Then we have the beige version of the Flounced Rustic which makes a nice change from the more usual darker grey ones, and finally an irresistible Brimstone moth.

I also like this huddle of yellow underwings, a very common sight in the trap at this season, both in numbers and in their habit of cramming into eggbox cones together which would emphatically not appeal to many other, more private, species, judging my the habits which I have observed over the years.

And lastly, harking back to my reference to streamlined Prominents, here is another, much smaller moth which adopts the 'racing car' stance while resting: the micro Evergestis forficalis, known familiarly as the Garden Pebble.


AlexW said...

Um, your "beetle" is a true bug, perhaps a pentatomid?

True bugs are often mistaken for beetles, but bugguide says that in true bugs the forewings almost never meet in a straight line like the elytra of beetles.

Same goes for roaches, although some species mimic beetles and appear to have a straight line down their back.

By "include more behavioral observations", I was trying to emphasize such events as watching six moths fight over mating territory or seeing a male perform an elaborate courtship dance, but your bunch of yellow underwings snuggling is slightly interesting nonetheless.

Happy mothing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin

I think your 'beetle' is a bug as AlexW suggests. Perhaps Pentatoma rufipes aka Forest Bug or Red-legged Shield Bug

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi bugsters - many thanks for sage advice. I always find it hard to believe that there actually is a category called 'bugs' which is such a word for children or slang. We've just been doing some rhyming games with the grandchildren involving bugs, mugs, rugs, jugs etc - it's a dream ending for poets.

The granddaughter now picks up spiders and examines them with keen interest; not bad for a three year old

All best as ever