Sunday, 11 November 2018


After a complete washout last night - driving rain and a supper engagement which meant that I couldn't put the trap out until midnight - I thought that I would just catch up with my backlog. I have a file on the desktop called 'Current Moths' and the word 'current' is beginning to turn into  misdescription.

This top picture, for example, dates back a month when the 'phone went soon after I'd taken up the early morning tea and it was our granddaughter in a state of high excitement. "Grandpa! Grandpa!" she almost squeaked, "the White Ermine has hatched!" Sure enough, this being FaceTime, she was holding the delicate white insect in her hand; a very late emergence of what was a third generation for that particular White Ermine family whose history you can revise here. 

I was slightly worried because I was due to take a box of White Ermine chrysalises from the same batch to a friend in Salisbury who is thinking of taking up trapping.  Would they all hatch in the same way, before I had the chance to pack and head off? Luckily, there have been no further hatchings since and the rest of the brood now face a long winter's sleep before they emerge in Salisbury and east London.

Nothing else very exciting to report; a handsome Heart and Dart above (Update - sorry, it's a Turnip, a good basic name for a good basic moth. Many thanks to Ben Sale in Comments for putting me right), a slightly blurred (sorry) Vestal below and one of those annoying grey species which I'll have to examine the moth Bible to pin down, maybe in front of the fire this evening.

Oh, and it's nice to show the underneath of a Merveille du Jour, that glorious moth whose beautiful top wings normally get all the publicity.


Bennyboymothman said...

Hi Martin.

It's been a while since I posted on your blog!

Glad to see you still posting frequently and always an interesting read :)

Your Heart & Dart, is a pale Turnip Moth.

I think (I'm pretty sure, but if you still have the specimen or better photos?) that your boring grey moth is in fact the very rare Sombre Brocade.
It's very similiar to a plain Brindled Green, but I think I can make out the markings from your photo.


Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Ben and many apols for the delay in replying. That's a very interesting comment about the poss Sombre Brocade and I'll put it to the experts on Upper Thames. I fear the specimen may be too far gone - and my photos too poor - for definite ID, but it'll be interesting to see what they say. Thanks for the Turnip correction. We are having roast parsnip soup for lunch today! V glad that you are having good moth-ing too. I've reached the stage where things are generally predictable, but as soon as you say that, something comes along and proves you wrong. Here's hoping anyway.

All warm weishes