Monday, 22 July 2013

Kate's Baby and Drinkers, Hooktips, Antlers, Thorns, Leopards, Tigers, Heralds, Tussocks and Arches

Well, what else could it be but Moths?

I've passed this afternoon in a State Of Heightened Excitement (which M considers "female nonsense," although with an indulgent smile), waiting to hear that Kate has safely given birth. I had to pull myself together and stop thinking about it too much just in case I accidentally went into labour with her.
You may snort at this if you choose, but when my sister was having her first child some years ago now I passed a very uncomfortable few hours indeed experiencing a fairly hefty degree of her labour pains. Indeed, it was how I knew the babe (whom L, aged 3 at the time, called Starfish "because she's coming from the stars mummy,"  which gave me quite a tingle I can tell you) was on her way.

To distract myself I've been Busy Sorting Moths From Last Night's Box. I'm afraid the Blackbirds got there before me because there wasn't a moth to be seen in the immediate vicinity, or the outlying reaches, or indeed sleeping on the roof which some always tend to do. But there was Incriminating Evidence in the form of several dollops of blackbird poo ON TOP of the box!!! (A lovely Boxelder Beetle was calmly munching his way through said droppings. Yum!)

There were plenty of moths tucked up safe inside the box and as 1) I don't put the box out every day, 2) I am reasonably confident we have a healthy moth population around us given how many we are catching, and 3) there are never all that many outside the box anyway, I'm not too worried about the blackbirds, even if they do think I am offering some kind of free mobile buffet for birds.

We had a total of 300 moths constituting 81 different species today, including 18 that I hadn't seen before, which has taken my total of New Moth Species for the year up to 229 . There were two I really struggled to ID, being micros, but I got there in the end which was a Good Feeling.

Here are a selection of the most recent ones for you to enjoy...

 The Antler
(so-called because of the white "antlers" on either side of his wings)
He wasn't in the box but popped into the bedroom last night through the window 
just as we were off to bed. 

 Beautiful Hooktip

The Drinker

Garden Tiger

Barred Straw

Early Thorn
(male- the females are lighter in colour)


Beautiful Arches

 Yellow Tail
(male- the female's don't have hairy legs!)

Nut Tree Tussock
(these have only started appearing this week)

 Pale Prominent
(an extraordinary looking moth I thought. He doesn't look quite real)

Peach Blossom

Ruby Tiger
(again, new for this week, although in reasonable numbers)

Treble Brown Spot
(a bit ragged round the edges- hope that wasn't a blackbird's beak!)

The Herald
(not technically due till August)

Beautiful Hooktip
(looks like a fish slicing through water)

Small Magpie
(lots of these for quite a while now)

Bordered Beauty

Blood Vein

A couple of amazing looking micros below...

Acleris forsskaleana

Coleophora lutipennella

 Leopard Moth

 Is this Moth a Dun-Bar or an Angle-Striped Sallow?
Thought please- David? Martin? Caroline?....

Pine Hawk

September Thorn

Scarlet Tiger

White Plume Moth

Purple Thorn

Keeping on the general theme of moths and babies (and combining them rather cleverly I thought), look what I found on one of the egg boxes this morning.......

Yes! Moth Eggs!!! I am going to be a Moth Mother! The only problem is I have no idea who, out of the 81 different moth species in the box last night, is responsible for laying them, which is going to make knowing what to feed them a tad tricky. Oh well, we'll work something out I'm sure.

Hope you've enjoyed these. I'm off to see whether there's any baby news....


  1. Hi CT Wow! What a wonderful selection of Moths. Some of those oths if I saw them, I would not even know they were moths, (leaves etc) although I know nothing about Moths, I love seeing them and I suppose in time I will learn about some of them. Thanks you for sharing as I am sure it takes a lot of time to put a post like this together. Margaret

    1. Hi Margaret,

      They are amazing at looking like other things aren't they? So pleased you enjoyed seeing them.

  2. I, too, have been on baby watch. There was one rather alarming moment when I pottered off to get a pile of ice cubes in water, and returned to see pictures of the Pope all over the screen.

    For one awful and surreal moment I thought she'd had a pontiff...

    1. Tee hee!

      Phew! What a relief it's all over and a teeny weeny small person has arrived safely for them both to enjoy.

  3. Excellent moths! I think your um-err one is a Dun-bar but I am very very bad at sorting out this kind of like-all-the-others moth. I've asked my own corps of experts in case they're around, so here's hoping. All v best M

    1. I suspect it's a Dun-Bar too, but like you I find IDing the "variations of brown" ones quite hard! Thanks for casting an eye.

  4. Wonderful selection of moths CT - you have trapped more species this year than I have in 4 years!! :) I would agree with Martin that its a Dun-bar but I too often struggle with species that look alike!!

    1. It's the Rob Box, it makes a huge difference :-)

      I think it's a DB too, but it's really useful to get everyone's opinion- I don't trust mine when it comes to the fiddly brown varieties!

  5. Lovely photos of some beautiful moths. And the moths eggs are exciting, hope you're able to hatch them out.

    1. L keeps muttering darkly about moths being "forced to give birth in prison and then being deprived of their children." I tried to explain that moth mummies don't raise their kids in the way human mummies do, but he's Waving The Moth Flag with his recently established society of R.O.M (Rights of Moths) and won't hear it!

      I really hope they hatch out and go on to be fully fledged moths. It will be fantastic to monitor over the next few weeks. Pictures will be forthcoming if we are successful. Fingers crossed.

  6. What a huge variety of moths! I get some interesting ones at my cabin in Pennsylvania, but I'm happy to get a dozen different species in an evening. I don't trap them, I just leave the porch light on overnight. They will be all over the side of the cabin in the morning when I do that.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      How lovely to be able to do that. Sometimes if the moth box is near the house we wake up with the wall covered with furry winged people too. I'm a bit worried the blackbirds have now sussed it though so I'm not sure the moths would be too safe!
      Would love to see some pics of your moths when you get the chance.

  7. Well CT that's and amazing collection of moths, the names, the colours, the hairy legs....I don't know what else to say! I have really enjoyed looking at them, they are truly wonderful creatures.

    1. They are all so completely different from one another, that's what I enjoy most about them I think. That, and the opportunity to exercise my brain working out the IDs.

      I put the hairy one in just for you, knowing how you like the fluffy ones :-)

  8. I like the Antler best but they're all stunning.

    1. I thought he/ she was pretty amazing too x

  9. The leopard moth and the September thorn are my faves! Do you think the September thorn is a bit early? Does it's name suggest that it should emerge in said month?!

    1. I thought same re Sept moth, but apparently they fly from July to early Oct! To be honest it could equally be an August thorn, they are quite hard to tell apart :-)


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x