Ooohs and Ahhhs at the Moth Traps

Thursday, June 22nd 2023

As the moth traps were emptied and the moths identified there were a lot of ooohs and aaahs.  The first to be looked at was Green Arches.  They were newly hatched judging by their bright colours.  These moths are locally distributed throughout Britain, but more common in Wales and the South.  The caterpillars feed on a variety of plants including Bilberry and Knotgrass which are not found at Foxglove, although another food plant, Honeysuckle, is well distributed throughout the reserve.

The Honeysuckle is coming into flower. 

A Light Emerald Moth was the next one to be identified.  We expect to see these moths between June through to August.  There are other 'emeralds' to appear, hopefully in our traps.  You can see his very large greenish eyes.

An Elephant Hawk-moth was next to have its ID confirmed.  Many adult moths do not feed but this one does.  It feeds from Honeysuckle and other tubular flowers, whislt still flying.  The caterpillar enjoys Rosebay Willowherb, again this does not grow in large quantities on the reserve.

Its proboscis is the orange piece sort of tucked in under its face - not very scientifically explained!  It also has large eyes.

The moths above co-operated and sat still whilst being photographed.  The Beautiful Golden Y did not.  Kate kept her eye on it as it flew from the front of the Field Centre into the back garden.  It landed and she was able to take a photograph.  Thank you!

Thank you to one species team who put out the traps and thank you to the other species team who identified the moths and put away the traps.


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