Thursday, 19 July 2018

Carefully does it

I am always cautious when I turn over the eggboxes while inspecting the trap, in case my pudgy fingers squash a little micro. But at the moment I am operating even more gingerly, after discovering the characters in my first two photographs.

They are hornets, insects of fearsome repute although these were too sleepy and light-dazed to pay me any attention. As with almost all animals, it is usually the case that they will not molest you unless they see you as a threat. This understandable concern may be a misreading of your intentions, however, for example if you trod on an adder which you had failed to see (and ten years ago, while photographing a Peacock butterfly in a Yorkshire fir plantation, I very nearly did put my hand on an adder - link here and photo, left). Hornets have an 'attack pheromone which mobilises all in a nest if a major attack is feared. So do treat them with caution.

Other arrivals included the Canary-shouldered Thorn, above and in my composite picture at the bottom of the post. At least even I can recognise this member of the family; but I must check my other recent Thorns with the experts at the Upper Thames Moths blog as they are notoriously easy for twerps such as myself to confuse. And below a very pretty male Small Scallop, I think, with below it the lovely micro Anania coronata (right) and a handsome Sallow Kitten.

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