Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Wearing of the Green

The moth-watching year is winding down gently but at least it goes out with an interesting colour predominant: green. I featured the luscious Merveille du Jour in my last post and today sees the turn of two more moths.

The first, above and to the left, is the Red-green Carpet, a species which could have been named by my granddaughter who Christens cuddly toys according to their colour - Browny-yellowy, Bluey-pinkey and so forth. The description is good because the two colours fight for predominance, depending on the angle from which you view the moth. But I think that green gets the upper hand.

My second moth is interesting: the form capucina of the Green-brindled Crescent, two of which came this morning. Unique to the UK and often found in suburban areas, perhaps because of different camouflage suitability in the manner of the melanic Peppered Moth, this replaces most or all of the standard form's areas of metallic green scales with a range of browns.

Look at the second example, though, and you will see a definite tinge of green on the light markings, almost like luminosity on a child's glow-in-the-dark toy.  I haven't noticed this before and am often suspicious of what the iPhone's digital camera does to subtle colouring. But in this case I could see it with the naked eye as well.

I only discovered yesterday that one of the earliest enthusiasts for the Green-brindled Crescent was a man called Charles Lockyer, an MP and secretary of the South Sea Company, famous for its notorious financial bubble. He was also the man who ended up with the first Clifden Nonpareil to be recorded in the UK, as per my account in my post which greeted the arrival of my first ever Nonpareil last year (compared to nine so far in 2020!).  It's a shame that Mr Lockyer's name for the Green-brindled Crescent, Ealing's Glory, didn't stick in the way that Clifden Nonpareil has done (in spite of recent substitutions of the accurate but comparatively boring 'Blue Underwing'.

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