Spot the Moth!

Wednesday, March 8th 2017

This morning was a typical Wednesday morning here at Foxglove in that it started by collecting, identifying, photographing and releasing the moths caught overnight in our moth trap. For me, the most exciting of the moths today was this Oak Beauty, Biston strataria, our first this year (it typically flies in March and April).

This moth has a disruptive pattern – where the pattern continues over different body parts, breaking up the shape of the moth, so making its outline difficult to spot. Its colouration makes it remarkably well camouflaged on tree bark with lichen...can you spot the moth?

We can tell from the amazing feathery antennae that this moth is a male. The males use their feathered antennae to sense pheromones produced by the female, helping them to locate a female to mate with. The females have more thread-like antennae.

Oak Beauty caterpillars feed on a number of deciduous trees including Oak, Elm, Hazel and Alder from late spring onwards. They overwinter underground as pupae.


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