Thursday, 31 August 2017


There are almost always a number of moths which hesitate to enter my light trap but content themselves with perching on its outer structure or nearby. At the moment, I will almost always find on of the various Thorn species in the former place and the bright little Brimstone moth in the latter. 

Neither type is in a getaway mood; the Canary-shouldered Thorn in my second picture spent all day clinging to the side of the trap bowl, unmolested by birds. So security does not appear to be their motive. They are sufficiently attracted to the lamp, or their direction-finding is sufficiently disorientated by it, sinply through being nearby. My next two pictures show, first, a couple of Brimstones in the bottom left and top right corners of a non award-winning shot and then another one on a magnolia leaf, closer-up. I am still debating whether to replace my game but limited iPad Mini with a proper camera but for the moment, as in Romeo and Juliet, t'will serve.

The third outsider, just above, is a Small Magpie, one of the largest of the UK micros and not unlike its grown-up brother the macro Magpie which came to see me the other week. Inside the eggboxes, meanwhile, there were the customary slum conditions for assorted yellow underwings.

Keeping to itself, however, was this solitary example of the attractive, coffee-coloured variant of the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, the only one of the tribe which avoids condemnation is 'drab' (until the moths panic and their vivid orangey-yellow hindwings are exposed).

Other visitors include, below,  a couple of pretty thumbnail micros, Acleris variegana aka the Garden Rose Tortrix and Pandemis corylana aka the Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix, the darker form of the Shuttle-shape Dart with its neat little textile industry badge (behind a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing in profile), and a Rosy Rustic (to the right of a Setaceous Hebrew Character).

I also had a fine example of that rakish, racing-car of a moth, the Angle Shades, and a Poplar Hawk, the first for a while. Perhaps he or she is a relative of my surviving caterpillar.


Zoe Randle said...

Hi Martin

I've just discovered your blog - it's great! Are you aware of the forthcoming Atlas of Britain and Ireland's Larger Moths? I'd really like to speak to you about it if that is possible. I worked with you on Requiem for a Moth several years ago. If you could contact me via that would be great.

Best wishes

Zoe Randle

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Zoe

Great to hear from you - I remember Requiem with great warmth. Iain Chambers is a master of sound quality and has gone on to do some very interesting projects. I'll bob you an email. Very interesting how many Clifden Nonpareils are turning up in Bucks. Not here yet, alas, but I am ever the optimist

all warmest