Monday, 5 August 2013

Moth Post!

As promised, here are the pics of the latest batch of Interesting Moth People to visit the box.

 Bordered Beauty
This moth likes damp woodlands and feeds mainly on sallow (the willow tree family), of which we have plenty.

This is either a Grey or a Dark, but as they can only reliably be distinguished from one another by genital dissection I am happy to remain uncertain! They are found from May-October everywhere and eat mainly deciduous trees and shrubs

Early Thorn (male)
Plenty of these chaps and chapesses around at present, they are found from March-September virtually everywhere and eat a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs

 Drinker (female)
These moths are found near areas of grassland where they feed on coarse grasses

Maiden's Blush
These moths are found in and around oak woodlands. Sometimes moth names make you raise an eyebrow, but this one is perfect for this moth- a pretty name for a delicate moth

Lesser Swallow Prominent
Differs from the Swallow Prominent because the white triangle at the top of the wing reaches less than half way across

 Lesser Yellow or Lesser Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing, I can't decide so if any moth friends recognise it please let me know!

This is to give you some indication as to what my kitchen/ breakfast room area looks like on a Moth Day. And that's nothing to the ceiling! There are often over a hundred moths on the walls, ceiling and windows and they remain there all day, shifting position when the sun moves across them into the shade. We open the doors and windows as dusk falls and they fly out once it's got dark. Some, like the Poplar Hawks and the Garden Tigers, don't get out of bed till much later so I tend to move them  outside once the birds have gone to bed and leave them to get up when they're ready. There are always some who don't go outside, and those we pot very gently and return to the garden.

Lobster Moth
A member of the Kitten Family, who are all quite furry, this moth flies May-July in mature woodland and feeds off beech and oak. Its caterpillars are quite something to behold and give the moth its name  Luckily the adult moth is much nicer to look at!
(caterpillar pic from the internet, not one of mine)


 Sallow or Poplar Kitten
Quite hard to tell these two apart, they fly May-July and May-August respectively and feed from Goat Willow (also known as Pussy Willow) and Alders and Birch. Lovely looking moths I think.

Rosy Footman
This is one of my favourite moths, they are very friendly souls and appear to enjoy human company if the rate at which they land on us and refuse to get of is anything to go by. L has a special rapport with them as one landed on his foot last week and sat there for ages, thus proving that she was well named. I like them so much they get two pictures, and in both the moth is sitting on my arm!

 They fly June-August in wooded areas including gardens and hedgerows and feed on arboreal lichens. There were approx 40 of these in the box, so this is definitely Rosy Footman Time

Double Kidney
A new moth for me, which is always exciting. This moth flies July-September in damp areas and feeds on Willows. An unassuming looking moth, but not many have that distinctive line pattern on the wing.

Three moths on an egg box: Slender Brindle, August Thorn and Shuttle-Shaped Dart
This is to show you what the inside of the moth box is like on a  Moth Day. We put egg boxes inside it so the moths have somewhere to rest and shelter.

A Drinker with wings open

The Ear Moth
Named for the ear-shaped white mark, this moth flies July-Sept in rough grassland and marshy areas and feeds off grasses

Sharp Angled Peacock
 Flies May-August feeding on Sallow and Blackthorn

 Pale Prominent (male)
A fantastic moth who has got the art of camouflage down to a "t". He looks just a sliver of wood. Flies May-August in many habitats including parks and gardens so you will probably have them around you. Feeding on Poplars and Willows

Smoky Wainscot
Flies June-October on grasslands and feeds on various grasses

Four Spotted Footman (male)
Much bigger than the other footmen and the male is smaller than the female so imagine what size she would be! They fly July-September and eat lichens.

Nut Tree Tussock
Flies April-September in deciduous woodlands where it feeds mainly on hazel and birch

Bright Line Brown Eye
Not to be confused with the Brown Line Bright Eye (someone's having a laugh there). Flies May-September and is widespread so there will be one near you. Common on cultivated land and has a wide variety of food plants.

 Red Twin-Spot Carpet
Flies April-August in many habitats and eats a wide range of herbaceous plants

I think this is a Phoenix, rather than a Small Phoenix, but happy to be corrected.
Flies July-August in woods and gardens and eats currants and gooseberries. As we don't have any currants or gooseberries it could be a small phoenix which eats willowherbs

Plain Wave
Flying June-August in open woods and scrubby habitats and eating assorted herbaceous plants. Apols for the slightly blurry pic

And to finish with, the beautiful Large Emerald, one of my all time favourite moths. I know I've posted her before but any excuse really!
Large Emeralds fly June-August mainly in wooded country and heathland and eat birch and hazel.

Well that's it for now. I hope you've enjoyed them all. I'm hoping to get the box out this week (if the rain ever stops) and so should have more to show you then.

Have a good day all,

CT :-)


  1. Love it that there is a family of moths called Kitten Moths! And I can see why.

    1. I know- so sweet isn't it? All fluffy and furry they are, like kittens.... :-)

  2. Beautiful collection of moths CT. The Drinker looks like a leaf with wings closed and a little beauty with them open. The caterpillar of the lobster moth is amazing-I much prefer the furry adult moth! Nut tree tussock has to be one of my favourite names.

    1. I'm very fond of Drinker moths, they are reluctant to go out when they've been in all day and invariably buzz round my ears while I'm trying to type in the evening. When I finally manage to catch one and put it out, it turns round and flies straight back in again!

  3. Superb collection of moths - you really are trapping a great variety - species I can only dream of trapping here!!! Would love to find the Lobster and Rosy Footman in my trap :) The last photo is brilliant :)

    1. It would be very interesting to see whether it was the area or the trap making the difference. I do get so many more in the Robinson than the skinner- typically at least a hundred and often nearer 2-300. But we also have a lot of natural trees and shrubby areas here as well as wild grassland which may have something to do with it. I love the rosies and the lobsters are really gorgeous moths, they always strike me as being very quiet, self-contained and peaceful souls. And as to the emerald, well, I could look at them all day, so delicate and beautiful. Glad you enjoyed them too :-)

  4. I would not want to meet a lobster moth caterpillar along a dark alley! It really looks like something quite alien!

    Lovely bunch of mothy people :)and fab photos of them :)

    1. I know- not the prettiest souls are they? But the moth is really lovely :-)


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.