Saturday, 12 June 2021

Hop Dog

The Hop Dog, as the Pale Tussock used to be known in the great days of hopping, when most of East London decamped to Kent to help with the harvest and ensure the nation's beer supplies, is always welcome here. We don't have hops, which it especially favours, but its caterpillars are commendably catholic in their tastes (like our two grandsons but definitely not our granddaughter).

I was interested this year to get two males on the same night with contrasting shades of grey. Here they are closer-up:

I think that the first one is the less frequently seen melanistic form, an interesting example of the contrast which is much more famous in the Peppered Moth.  My pleasure was complete when the female, below, visited the trap two nights later. Larger and paler, they are less attracted than the males to light.

The delicious weather is bringing all sorts of good things to the trap at the moment.  Here's this morning's quartet of delicate examples, all of which were roosting on the outside of the transparent cowl, fortunately undetected by birds.

Clockwise from top left: Sandy Carpet, Clouded Silver, Dot Moth Update: sorry, sloppy me.  It's a Straw Dot.  Many thanks to Edward in Comments) and Small Magpie


Edward Evans said...

Straw dot, not dot moth there.


Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks Edward - sorry to be so slow. Will update now

all warm wishes as ever, Very wet here so no trapping for now