Saturday, 16 August 2014

A Clutch Of Mothy People, Goat Willow Caterpillars And J Gets Her A-Level Results....


The moth box was out last night, and with overnight temperatures dipping to a chilly 10 degrees I wasn't expecting much, but there were thirty different species in the box when I brought them in and four of these were new. 

There are still lots of moths to come: for example it'll soon be Black Rustic and Sallow time. These are both beautiful moths in completely different ways. The Black Rustics are Darkly Handsome in a Dangerous Gothic sort of way, while the Sallow family come in a range of deep umbers and warm, rich oranges to match the falling leaves. Later still and the Chocolate Tip will be here, a rich dark moth covered in thick fur to keep him warm over Christmas. Before that, if we're very very very lucky, we might just be graced with a visit from that most elegant of moths, one that forms the pinnacle of most moth'ers viewing ambitions: the glorious Merveille Du Jour, whose arrival here last year when I'd just about given up hope of seeing it caused much squealing (and an aching face from smiling too much).  

In the mean time, we've got lots of other Rustics, Thorns and even a Brimstone to see. The latter flew behind the radiator before I could get a pic, annoyingly. Moths that I haven't seen this year and did last include the graceful Swallow Tail and my all time fav the Green Emerald. I haven't seen a Hummingbird Hawk here either, although I did spot one in early March up on Magdalen (and nearly winded M by throwing my arm across his chest to stop him walking into it!). My blogging Pal Briony whose blog can be found here had a  visit from one of these special creatures this week, so they are still about, just not coming to see me :-(


Lesser Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing

Common Wave

Dusky Thorn (new for year)

Mother of Pearl

Orange Swift (third one this year -I saw virtually none last year)

Pebble Hook-Tip

Sharp-Angled Peacock

Small Square Spot (new for year and garden)
Double Square Spot (new for garden and year)

Broad Bordered Yellow Under Wing (love the stripey stockings and inquisitive expression)

Willow Beauty

Lesser Common Rustic (can only really be distinguished from Common Rustic by genital exams, but they are generally smaller and the kidney shape is usually white, as with this one, so I'm plumping for Lesser)
Common Rustic
Bordered Beauty

Six Striped Rustic
I've been meaning to check the Goat Willow near the house for Purple Emp Pillars, and today I got round to doing it. I didn't find any Emperors, but I did find two other Moth Pillars. The first will morph in due course into a beautiful White Ermine moth, who you may remember from earlier in the year....

White ermine pillar
White ermine moth

And the second is a very early instar (developmental stage) Kitten Moth, most likely a Puss Moth, the adult of which also visited the moth box earlier this year in May. I think this has got to be one of the cutest caterpillars- I love the little horns and eventually the tail will fork into two prongs. It's great to see evidence of them breeding successfully nearby.

Puss Moth pillar

Adult Puss Moth

Adult Puss Moth
The other thing of note I found beneath the Goat Willow leaves were these two spider egg sacks. They are minute. If you look closely you'll see the thread connecting them. One has hatched out, as can be seen from the small hole in the sack on the left. I'm afraid I can't remember which spider they belong to- I did have this knowledge last year but it's gone!



J got her A Level results this week. She sat English, French and Classics and was hoping to study French at Exeter after spending this coming year working in France. She needed A,A,B to get on to the course she wanted, and that's exactly what she got, so we have one Very Happy Girly here. It's a relief for all of us, but especially for J- she worked so very hard so she really does deserve to be able to continue her studies at the place she chose. Hooray for J!

I'll leave you with a pic of a Canary Shouldered Thorn because I LOVE the expression, I'd pitch it somewhere between annoyed and 'Well? Why did you wake me up? Come on! Out with it- what do you want?'



Wishing you all a peaceful evening,

CT :-)

24 comments:

  1. I'm sorry if this is a duplicate comment. Not sure what happened. Anyway - I love the patterns of the willow and bordered beauty. And those are quite the expressions you have caught on some of their faces!

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    1. No duplicate- gremlins in the system probably :-)

      The Bordered Beauty is an unusually patterned moth so I always like seeing them. I don't get that many here. Moth expressions can be wonderfully comical!

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  2. Good news on the A level results, well done J!

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    1. Thanks Jess, I'll pass it on. Big relief!

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  3. I didn't realise moths could be so beautiful

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    1. They are much more diverse and interesting than people realise- 2500 species in the UK alone, compared with 49 butterflies. Moths get poor press from being creatures of the darkness- everyone assumes they are small, brown and boring, but once you see them up close they are really very beautiful :-)

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  4. The Puss Moth is stunning would love to see this one, still getting a lot of pug and orange underwing.
    Well done with exam results , son 2 get his this Thursday we have everything crossed...
    Amanda xx

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    1. It is a magnificent moth and quite big too. You'll have to wait till next year for the adult moth now (one generation, May-July) and they like Goat Willow and Aspen.
      Fingers crossed for your lad's results- it's a nail-biting time xx

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    1. Many thanks :-) We are very proud of her xx

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  6. The canary shouldered Thorn's expression is comical

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    1. Isn't it great? They always make me smile :-)

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  7. Great news about the A-Level results :) I love the Puss Moth photos and the expression on the Canary Shouldered Thorn is just pic of the month for me!! Fabulous stuff.

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    1. Thanks, Petra- a huge relief all round :-) So pleased you enjoyed the moths- there will be more! x

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  8. Well done to J on the "A" Level results - so glad she got a place at the University of her choice.

    Lots of Orange Swift here this year - far more than last year. Lovely selection of moths and caterpillars :)

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    1. Thank you :-) Nice to have the results back and to know where she's headed now.

      I thought of you when I saw the Orange Swift- remembered you saying they were having a good year up your way and they seem to be doing the same here. Perhaps the wet mild winter/ spring weather suited them? Be interesting to compare with next year :-)

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  9. Congratulations to J, you all must be so proud.
    Amazing photos, and as always so much information, you really do know your moths!!!
    The white ermine has to be my favorite so far, so pretty, but the expression on the Canary Shouldered Thorn, brilliant!!!
    xxx

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    1. Thanks Linda :-) So proud of her.
      Glad you enjoyed the post and the moths- Canaries always seem to have that expression and it never fails to put a smile on my face! xx

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  10. Since reading your blog, I've become very fond of the little moth creatures. I think the mother of pearl is exquisite, and the ermine and puss moths are so sweet. So pleased for J. Waiting or exam results is the worst thing.

    Jean x

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    1. I'm so pleased, Jean. Mother of pearl's really shimmer with that iridescent sheen in the light. xx

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  11. Very impressive bunch of moths, and caterpillars too. Puss Moth cats are something else, not that I've ever seen one. Love the last one's face!

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    1. I think it may actually be a Sallow, bit early to tell for sure. Lovely little thing, either way :-)

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  12. Well done J. Love the moths that Pebble Hook Tip is beautiful. I think the Thorn is saying.....'just look at me I'm yellow...yellow'

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    1. Thanks Suzie :-) The yellow of the thorn is just like custard- it should be called the custard-shouldered thorn really x

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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