Friday, 25 April 2014

Introducing: The May Bug Gallery, And Some Beautiful Moths

The Moth Box was out last night. It seemed like a good night - mild etc, but we woke to rain this morning and I feared no-one would be about.

I was wrong. There were 53 mothy people in the box, with a total of 16 new species. This brings my haul for the year so far to nearly 300 moths and 40 new species, some of whom are also new for the garden (meaning I've never seen them before).

Last night's batch held some Old Familiars from last year as well as the newcomers. It was a Joy to see them again and made me think of summer coming, especially as several escaped when I brought the box in and took up residence on the walls and windows in the breakfast room, reminding me forcibly of Moth Days during the height of summer last year when the whole room would be taken over by hundreds of night-time people fast asleep on every available surface. I warned L when he came home from school that the moths were all out- he walked in and waved to them all :-)
 
Brimstone (not seen since the late summer)

Chocolate Tip in normal pose (last seen last winter)

Grumpy choc tip whizzing his wings pre-take off

Choc Tip Front View

Early Tooth-Striped

Early Thorn (new for year)

Early Thorn

Frosted Green (new for the year and the garden- Very Exciting)

Grey Pine Carpet (new for the year)

Knot Grass (new for the year) 

Pebble Hook-Tip (new for the year)

Pebble Hook-tip on the window

Hurrah! The White Ermines are back!

White Ermine, one of my favourite moths (new for the year)
 
Small Phoenix (new for the year)


Lesser Swallow Prominent (new for the year)

v-pug (new for the year)

As well as all the super moths, there were six Large Beetles in the box and one on the table outside. I couldn't fathom what they were to start with, only really having seen (and heard) them flying at night before, when they are often so clumsy they fly into you. They are May Bugs of course (or cockchafers). May Bug numbers took a terrible plunge in the mid 20th century thanks to pesticides, but since tougher controls on the use of these horrid things were put in place their numbers are now recovering- they had become locally extinct in some areas :-(

Poppy obviously hadn't heard about the need to Look After May Bugs, because she grabbed the first one I put out in the flowers and ran off with him. Fearing the worst, I ran after her and managed to grab her. She dropped the bug, who just got up and started walking up her nose. They have sticky feet, and she didn't enjoy the experience very much. This served her right for snatching it in the first place. Anyway, May Bug none the worse for wear and Poppy hopefully has learnt not to pick them up (although I doubt it).

I think they are FAB, and had to take lots of pictures because they are So Adorable up close in the daylight. I absolutely love their little feathery antennae (see fourth pic down). The last pic is technically a bit furry, but how could anyone resist that little face and those dear little feathers?...... 

Introducing The May Bug Gallery:








 
 Have a great weekend all,

CT :-)
 

20 comments:

  1. Great May bugs! As for that Chocolate Tip; what a stunner. Not one I'd heard of before. I remember being present as May bugs swarmed in Essex some years ago and running away from them like a scaredy cat. Those sticky feet are a bit of a worry....xx

    PS - hoping to see you next week perhaps?

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    1. I can see how they would be pretty scary en masse all flying at you! I was a tad nervous about them until I worked out what they were :-)

      Have just sent you an email re next week xx

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  2. Boy am I glad I found your site, it's wonderful, and how else would I get to see these amazing moths. I love the chocolate one and the Pebble hook-tip on the window is beautiful, but the white ermine has stolen the show and is just spectacular.
    Don't go away will you, I love your posts.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Thanks so much Briony- I'm so glad you enjoy it. I love reading your posts too- I think we have a similar sense of humour! Not planning on going anywhere :-) x

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  3. Great selection of moths CT, especially so early in the year. I am still only catching typical early fare up here (ie. Orthosia species et al.) but hopefully things will pick up soon. I love the Pebble Hook-tip and the Frosted Green looks pretty nice too :-)

    Interesting to see the May Bugs too. Last year my 4 year old niece liked collecting these beetles from the trap and made little homes for them out of old shoe boxes :-)

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    1. Hi David :-)

      I'm pretty chuffed at the way the mothy numbers are shaping up here. Always interesting to see how they compare to elsewhere in the country. I initially thought the Frosted Green was a worn or slightly odd Knot-Grass, so was very pleased when I realised who it was :-)
      Great to hear about your little niece's involvement with the May bugs too.

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  4. Love love love the white ermines. Hope one of those turns up on my study wall this year..

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    1. They are beautiful moths. We should get a fairly steady supply with lots of them appearing between now and mid-summer if last year is anything to go by. There are also buff ermines, slightly darker in colour than the whites, but also beautiful. You do occasionally see them flying by day- they are very quick.

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  5. May bugs were one of the first things that caught my attention about nature when I was in primary school. Great pictures as always.

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    1. They do seem to hold a fascination for people. My youngest niece (aged 4) thinks they are beautiful.

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  6. Just like Crafty Cat Corner, I'm so pleased I found your blog too. Its just so wonderful and informative. I just didn't know moths were so interesting and so beautiful!!!
    I love the chocolate tip and the knot grass green, but my fav has to be the White Ermine, how beautiful is that!! And I love all their names!!
    And the May Bugs are great, will have to look out for those too.
    Have a great weekend
    Linda O xx

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    1. Many thanks Linda. I am really looking forward to being able to share all the more colourful and striking species with you all in June/ July, some of them are very exotic looking. Be interested to see what you think of them. Have a lovely weekend too :-)

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  7. Oh gosh CT - some great moths there and lovely pics. I think I need to move to another County or buy a better moth trap - I got the grand total of 2 on Thursday night!!! I love the Chocolate Tip - never trapped one here.

    Great photos of the May Bug - I love the way they seem to "bumble" around :)

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    1. The Robinson definitely makes a difference but I was still surprised how many there were given the weather. Am totally in love with the May Bugs :-)

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  8. Great set of photos and finds, love the White Emine moth reminds me of Cruella de vil.... Have been dropping hints to my hubby I would like a moth trap... He thought I said man trap... ! Like one of those too..

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    1. He he :-) Hope you do get one. It's a good time of year to start, I started last June and saw lots of beautiful moths all through the summer and autumn. Be interested to hear how the man trap works out too.... :-)

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  9. Great images of the May Bug, we have plenty here in Brixham and my cat loves to jump up and catch them mid air. I love being out in the garden when they are about and see them when bat watching.
    Great moth count CT, looking good for the start of the year. I have photographed a moth in the garden and will try to ID next week.

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    1. Thanks Suzie. I'm all agog now wondering what your mystery moth is.... :-)

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  10. Lovely to see so many moths. Those white ermines are beautiful. I'd love to see one here.

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    1. I feel Moth Season is really getting started now and am so looking forward to seeing all the old favourites from last year again.

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