Saturday, 2 June 2018

Spring green

Green is not a common colour among UK moths but when it does appear, it can be very striking. The Emerald moths are one example and so, in a subtler, understated way, is the Lime Hawk. But the Green Silver Lines which came last night is one of my favourites. Not an uncommon moth but one which only puts in a few appearances in my eggboxes every year.

I was pleased to get the first photo, above, as light can play tricks with the camera and the GSL often appears with the rather less fresh and Spring-like colouring, as in the double picture below (which also shows the moth's underwing through the trap's transparent cowl on which it was resting.

Another striking overnighter was the Burnished Brass below, actually very common at the moment but always a real pleasure to find among the more sober inhabitants of the trap.

I also took pics of this Pale Prominent, below, a common visitor like the Burnished Brass but worth illustrating for its most unusual shape.  Its beak-like front (to the right) is formed by its palps, curious anatomical parts which we humans do not have (and on which the co-director of the Imperial Caterpillar Nursery, Tom Bedford, has written well on his blog Out of the Blue Sky. And also by its reproductive parts, the y-shape at the left end of the insect, which attract mates for reproduction, moths' great central purpose in life.

The trap also had, below clockwise from top left): Poplar Grey, Lychnis, Privet Hawk showing its size in comparison to the neighbouring Clouded-bordered Brindle, and two Cockchafers doing what comes naturally.

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