Monday, 14 June 2021

Lobster potted


I am afraid that the star of today's show came to a sad end due to his over-hasty departure from the trap. Like a supercharged version of Gerard de Nerval's lobster, which the writer used to take for walks on the Champs Elysée, explaining to passers-by that he liked it 'because it doesn't bark and it knows the secrets of the sea', this Lobster moth shot off before I could stop him. I said him, because in moths, fancy antennae almost always denote a male.

He spiralled up into the sunlight and had almost reached the cover of our large oak when, zooooom! one of our robins whizzed down and that, alas, was that. I take what precautions I can over this sort of thing happening, but the Lobster moth is a common species and I am sure that a great many keep the bird and bat population up to the mark in the same way.

The moth's name comes from its remarkably crustacean-looking caterpillar - pic, left, from the Moth Bible. But the adult also has the grey of a lobster uncooked, albeit rather a hairy one.  Altogether, an excellent moth.

From the Large to the Little: here is a pristine Lime-speck Pug, one of the most attractive of that rather grey family of very small macro moths. And then here is a smart micro-moth, below, Crambus lathoniellus, I am pretty sure.

Still on the delicate side, we are back to the macros with the Treble Brown-spot above and the Shoulder-striped Wainscot below, both lovely exercises in white, cream, grey and black.

So to the Middle-barred Minor, below, and a Poplar Hawk which I've included because it posed so obligingly on Penny's kneeler with its toning colouration parches showing, rather than hidden which they usually are.

The next picture perhaps gives an idea of the busy-ness of the light trap at the moment. The quartet shown are not new but the later pictures show all sorts of first arrivals for the year.

An Elephant Hawk, a battered Common Swift, a Cinnabar and a Heart and Club

A couple of Burnished Brasses, form tutti with the metallic areas joined by that slender link

Orange Footman, one-eyed Bright-eye, Brown-line, Willow Beauty and Silver-ground Carpet 

Another Silver-ground Carpet, a Light Brown Apple Moth micro (Epiphyas postvittana), one of the many varieties of Common Marbled Carpet and the pretty micro Parapoynx stratiotata, aka the Ringed China-mark.

I can never resist photographing the Brimstone Moth

And finally, for the moths, here are another Common Marbled Carpet, a Heart and Dart and two  Dark Marbled Carpets, I think. Please correct me if I'm adrift.

In conclusion, two butterflies enjoying this matchless weather: a Small White - look out, my Purple-sprouting broccoli! - and a Red Admiral.

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