Thursday 11 April 2024

Grandchildren, take two

The grandchildren are back again and the moths are getting used to clambering on to fingers much more delicate than mine. I sometimes get a little impatient with this hobby but wrongly; as the granddaughter points out, the exercise often makes the males show their antennae, their most interesting organ for me, if only because we humans don't have them.

The insatiable curiosity of young visitors also sharpens my ID skills or at least encourages me to make greater efforts, as with the very lightly-marked - worn perhaps? - moth in the picture above whose veining is not immediately familiar to me. This is not a new problem as regular readers well know and it is specially bad at the start of each year's trapping when grey and brown middle-sized arrivals abound. Moire soon, I hopoe, after an internet and Moth Bible browse over morning tea.

I can, however, recognise the beautiful Powdered Quaker above and the Satellite below, although the grandchildren are too young to see the similarity between its tiny flying saucer marks and the aliens we used to shoot down in that early computer game Space Invaders.

Talking of worn moths, here is a very battered Early Grey compared with the scarcely touched Streamer below it, a lovely little moth with an attractive name prompted by the little banners caught in mid-flutter in the middle of its forewings.

Back to the little fingers, this time with their Cambridge Blue nail varnish and hosting a very nice new moth for the year, a Lunar Marbled Brown - the 'lunar' is accounted for by the tiny fingernail-clipping like a sickle moon just discernible on the lefthand side of the broader light band in the wing pattern.

Back to the familiar with this Common Quaker above and a Nut-tree Tussock plus waving antennae - the same as the first-ever visitor to the granddaughter's trap a few posts ago, a satisfyingly pretty debut moth.

Finally two snaps of a frisky Orange-tip butterfly, my second of the year and bringing my year's tally to four after a Brimstone, the Speckled Wood shown in the last post and a fast-flying Comma. 

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