Saturday, 14 October 2017

One up for youth

The 'phone went the other morning at 8am when I have to admit that Penny and I were still slugging in bed with our morning tea. It was our granddaughter, a noted enthusiast for moths as I have mentioned in the past, who could not contain her excitement about a new discovery.

"I am calling it Browney Whitey," she said, "because it is brown at the edges and white in the middle." Then she repeated this in a whisper, so as not to wake the moth up.

We hooked up on Facetime so that Penny and I could take a look at the cause of all the excitement (which the granddaughter was keen to tell us had been found in a pair of pants). It was difficult to make out as the 'phone jogged about, but there was something familiar about it. A few hours later, our daughter-in-law emailed the photo above and I realised what that something was: posts on the matchless Upper Thames Moths blog have reported recently about the spread of the micro Cydelima perspectalis, known in English as the Box Tree Moth or, less flatteringly, the Boxworm.

The granddaughter had beaten me to finding an example of this new arrival in the UK, a moth from the Far East - Japan, Korea and parts of India - which made its way here in imported goods in 2007 and has since flourished mightily as you can see from the post in the UTM blog by ace expert Dave Wilton, above.  Hats off to the young, say I! I hope that I will play host to a Box Tree Moth here before long.

Mind you, I have no box in my garden. If you do, this moth is very bad news indeed.It will be interesting to see how the neatily clipped hedges of hundreds of stately homes cope with the species' voracious caterpillars.

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