Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Last night saw the Great Invasion of the Trap by Bugs, Red-legged Shieldbugs or Pentatoma rufipes when they are in academic company. I am always intrigued by the meaning of scientific names and the second part of this one does at least come direct from words encountered in the early part of Kennedy's Latin Primer - rufi-pes, red foot. As so often, the namers shifted between Latin and Greek and pentatoma means 'five sections' in the latter. What those sections are, I leave to the Bug experts, content to be happy that such a playground word as 'bug' is actually used for a category of insects by the very serious and expert people who study them. (Update: and to find out the answer and some more bug lore, see Alex's very helpful Comment below. Many thanks).

A real moth beauty next; indeed its English name acknowledges the fact and it always appears here when it gives me the pleasure of calling by. It is a Beautiful Hook-tip, one of only nine UK moths to have the word 'beautiful' in their name, although there are a dozen or so others which have 'beauty'.  Curiously, there is no ordinary, plain Hook-tip but a goodly-sized family of other hook-tips does exist - the Pebble, Oak, Dusky, Scalloped, Barred and Scarce. Curiously, they and the Beautiful Hook-tip are unrelated. 

Here he or she is, consorting on the trap's outside with a rather finely-marked Snout
And here on her glorious own

For the second time in a week, but only the third since we moved from Leeds to Oxfordshire in 2013, an Old Lady moth spent the night here, pictured above with a bright little Brimstone. More colour was kindly provided by the Centre-barred Sallow, below.

I was interested too to get the picture below of that little micro regular Pyrausta aurata
Which seldom rests with its wings spread-eagled like this, and my last photo shows that handsome regular at this time of year, a Copper Underwing, or Svensson's Copper Underwing. It has colour too, as its name implies, but keeps it hidden when at rest.


AlexW said...

Under Pentatomidae (stinkbugs), bugguide says that the "five parts" refers to the 5-segmented antennae.

The antenna/eye shape of true bugs is also rather distinctive, so with some experience one can sort of intuitively identify them without looking at the overlapped wings.

Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks very much Alex - that's really helpful and I will update

all warm wishes