More Wings!

Saturday, August 4th 2018

Last night seven moth traps were spread around Foxglove.  It would have been interesting to have a drone fly around, seeing lights in the undergrowth!  Early this morning the traps were collected and returned to the Field Centre where they were emptied and the moths identified.

The Moth Team

Lots of egg boxes and of course cups of tea!

The Moth team

Dr Charlie Fletcher, the VC 65 moth recorder, identified the moths, including the micros, that we struggle with on a Wednesday morning.  Amazingly Jill Warwick recorded all the moths, including all the Latin names. Wow what a job!  We will receive a full list of all the moths and the numbers shortly.  These are then entered into our Species Program.

The traps do not just catch moths but other insects too.  There was a wasp and the beetle Nicrophorus investigator with its accompanying mites, some beetles and many insects.  Caddis fly experts caught many different caddis flies and will send us a list of species.  These too will be entered into our Species List Program.

Volunteers and visitors were shown the moths and given indicators to identification.

Now we come to the 'wings'.  I apologise if some of these moths have been on the blog recently but they are all so beautiful, (I know some readers of this blog will not agree!) I could not resist taking more photos and giving them their time in the limelight.

This is a Purple Thorn, distinguished from all the other thorn moths by sitting with its wings cupped.  A head on photo shows its furry antenna and its slightly uncurled proboscis.  The larvae feed on a variety of deciduous trees.

Purple Thorn

Canary-shouldered Thorn is a bright yellow moth and often leads us a merry dance when we try to photograph it.  This one sat still.  We should be catching this moth well into October, weather permitting.

Canary-shouldered Thorn

Mother of Pearl lives up to its name, reminding me of the buttons of my childhood.  

Mother of Pearl

Some of the Chevron moths were newly hatched and their colours were pristine.  The colour varies and some moths can be quite yellow.  It inhabits moorland and woodland.  Food plants of the caterpillar are sallows, Aspen and birch, all of which can be found in Foxglove.

Chevron moth

Dark Arches is a large moth.  Caterpillars feed on the bases and stems of grasses.

Dark Arches

Just off the egg box it proved to be shy.  Some careful rearrangement was needed to get the above photo.

Dark Arches hiding

A huge thank you to everyone involved in setting up all the traps, collecting them and all the other equipment that goes with them and returning everything to the Field Centre.

If you would like to see some moths, then the Foxglove trap is put out on a Tuesday evening, unless the weather forecast is bad, and emptied on Wednesday morning with identification taking place in the Field Centre.  You will be made most welcome.

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