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Moths

Sunday, October 17th 2021

At this time of year we have to study the weather forecasts to check on the weather.  Several web sites give different conditions making life very interesting.  We try to aim for a night temperature of four centigrade or above, not too windy and not too wet.

We had a good trap last weekend and found some beautiful Feathered Thorn moths.  The feathered antennae show that this is a male moth.  This moth can be found on the wing from mid September right through to early December.  Foxglove has many of the larval food plants it requires, including oaks, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Crab Apple and Dog Rose and not forgetting Silver and Downy Birch.

Newly hatched Green-brindled Crescent moths can have a very obvious metallic green colouring.  As they age this colour can fade.  Again the caterpillar of this moth feeds on Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Crab Apple and in the north Rowan.

Burdocks, Common Nettle and willowherbs are the larval food plants of the Setaceous Hebrew Character.  Its ideal habitats include woodland and marshes, but is most abundant in cultivated areas.

The trap also yielded a Black Rustic moth.  On checking the records there were only two sightings of this moth, the last being September 2010.  The adult moth feeds at Ivy flowers and overripe Blackberries, whilst the larvae feeds on Tufted Hair-grass, Heather, Blackthorn and clovers.

Thanks to Maxwell for emptying the traps and identifying the moths.


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