Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Family get-together

I am lucky to belong to a large extended family and, from time to time, we have get-togethers to check that the older end are still OK and to meet the ever-increasing little ones. So it's good to welcome a family party of moths in the trap this morning: five members of the handsome Prominent tribe, all in one go.

At the top are the two Swallows, sleek moths with their wings held tightly back like a swallow in flight. The one on the left with the series of white darts on its wing is the Swallow Prominent and the one on the right with the single, larger dart is the Lesser Swallow Prominent.

Below them, left to right, are the Coxcomb Prominent, described here the other day, the Iron Prominent with its rusty tones, and the Pale Prominent, a ghostly looking moth like an old piece of Cadbury's chocolate flake, which also shares the perky quiff of the Coxcomb. Like me, these UK Prominents (which take their name from the tufts common to many of the adults and most caterpillars) are part of a much larger family - 3562 species worldwide. 
Of my regulars, only the Pebble Prominent was missing this morning. I have yet to get a Great, Plumed, Maple of Three-humped Prominent, while the beautiful White Prominent - see Angus Tyner's lovely pic, left, courtesy of the excellent UK Moths website - is and I fear always will be the stuff of dreams. It used to fly here but now is known only from county Kerry in Ireland where it was rediscovered in 2008. Check out this interesting link.

Other visitors this morning included a pair of Orange Swifts, above, handy for me to show the difference in size and colouring of the male (left) and the female. As someone gradually reducing my weight I admit a smidgeon of envy for these moths; they have no mouthparts and so cannot feed. The inevitable downside is that their lives are short.

Finally, behind this Common or Garden Carpet pretending to be a butterfly, you can see one of the many clustering gangs of the currently ubiquitous Mother of Pearl micro-moth. Here they are again, closer to:

1 comment:

orchidwallis said...

Hello Martin

Thanks for passing on Dave's reply. I hope that I see that moth again one day. The picture of that white coxcomb with the red patch is amazing, I would be stunned if I ever saw something like that.