Sunday, 29 April 2012

Tiny beauty

A dry night at last, yippee! But a very cold one, and to begin with I wondered if the trap was completely empty. If you check back to Expert Ben's comment on the previous post, you'll see his interesting observation that moths seem to be more abundant on wet nights rather than on windy ones, in the current period of glum weather.

I always check very carefully, however. On many previous occasions, it has been the last or penultimate egg box which has concealed something really interesting. So it was this morning. On just one of the boxes was a tiny speck. Expanded by the technical wonders of my digital camera (micro mode, appropriately), it becomes this ravishing micro moth.

A grand dame on her way to the opera in some sort of lustrous leopardskin-patterned outfit with a matching fur? You tell me (you can click on the pics to enlarge them and get the full glamour).

The world of micros is a joy which I am looking forward to indulging as work winds down. Hey presto! On 31 May the long-awaited British Wildlife Publishing Field guide to Micro Moths will be published. Andrew Branson of BWP has just emailed me with this excellent news and he is not exaggerating when he says in his press release that the book, by the experts Phil Sterling and Mark Parsons and illustrated by the incomparable Richard Lewington,
"for the first time, makes this fascinating and important group of insects accessible to the general naturalist. it is one of the most eagerly anticipated insect guides for years."

Bring it on!  My birthday is on 18 May.

Update: I despair of my ability to identify creatures this size but Ben Sale - see comments - has come to my rescue. This is Eriocrania subpurpurella. Something to do with heads and colour, I think. I must brush up my Latin.


Jane said...

it is easy to overlook beauty in the small things in life, but that is a very beautiful moth

Bennyboymothman said...

Yes, in fact last night under clear skies only produced 8 moths! we are currently experiencing a very long movement between Spring and Summer species.
Your lil' Micro is Eriocrania subpurpurella.
Same as you, I can't wait for the book.


MartinWainwright said...

Dead right, Jane Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness of the desert air. But there are plenty of us looking out for them

A thousand thanks once again, Ben. And that's a very interesting point about the long gap. I've picked up on it in the latest post.

All warmest wishes both


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

One of my favourite little UK micros.

But I wish I'd had the camera I have now back then.

Oh so close...todays 'prove your not a robot was upand ... but not under