Friday, 3 July 2009

The Chimney Sweeper Moth

In my 1933 edition of Moths of the British Isles, the author Richard South says that the Chimney Sweeper moth is "very constant except that some specimens, after being on the wing for a day or two, become sooty brown. It is the fringe at the tip of the forewings rather than the tip itself that is white, and this sometimes extends for a short distance along the fringe of the outer margin. The moth is also known as The Looping Chimney Sweeper, in reference to its caterpillar, or The Chimney Sweeper's Boy. The caterpillar feeds in spring on flowers of the earth-nut (Conopodium denudatum). The moth is a sun lover and flits about flowers growing among or near its food plant in June and July. The species is widely distributed and frequents moist fields, borders of woods and even waysides".

The picture was taken during a third visit to the hay meadows at Barrowburn, Upper Coquetdale. It was a breezy day again with lots of movement in the grasses and flowers.

Chimney Sweeper Moth (Odezia atrata)


holdingmoments said...

Beautiful moth Emma. Never seen one before. Love the fringing on the wings.

Blyth Birder said...

Loads of these around at the moment, surrounded by them and Ringlets this morning at Ulgham Meadow.

Kelly said...

...a beautiful little fellow. I like those charcoal grey wings with the white tips (a perfectly descriptive name!).