Sunday, 9 June 2019

Black and white

I have sometimes been a bit critical of the lack of bright colours in many (but by no means all) UK moths. But today, I would like to show some examples which illustrate the beauties of simple black-and-white. Admittedly, there is a little flash of welcome yellow in my first example, the familiar and common but nonetheless lovely White Ermine; but its delicacy and grace stem principally from the black and white combo which so resemble the fur from which the moth takes its name.

The same is true of the Small Magpie - a micro-moth - and the Clouded border which follow in this composite photo, plus the three which follow it; about four of each species have visited me over the last three nights. The last picture in the sequence shows a Small Magpie from below, as it obligingly perched on the trap's transparent, if now somewhat battered, cowl.

Then we have a Peppered Moth, below, the original salt-and-pepper version which lost ground heavily to the dark, melanic version which prospered in atmospheric pollution of the heyday of heavy industry in the UK. Now that things are cleaner, it is the melanic which is in decline.

And lastly in this little monochrome catalogue, observe the respective beauties of a Swallow Prominent and a Marbled Minor.

On a whim, I took a photo of the trap in action past night and here it is:

And finally, largely for my records but I hope of some interest, here are some of the other recent residents at the Moth Motel. Nothing unexpected but a decent variety and range:

Shuttle-shape Dart
Angle Shades
And another

Brown Rustic

And another

Buff Tip

A couple of Heart and Darts

Middle-barred Minor

Light Emerald

Burnished Brass

Figure of 80
And another
Light Brocade

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