Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Moth Lady

My recent after-dark activities in the garden seem to be attracting quite a lot of interest from my neighbours and village friends so it's probably just as well I've been doing nothing more unusual than trapping moths.

Several of my neighbours have popped in to see the moths I've trapped and one village friend actually came and sat with me in the garden for two hours on the only balmy, breezeless night there's been in the valley in the last two weeks. The morning after, I had a call from an acquaintance in a nearby village to tell me she had found a moth in her garden: "Do you want me to keep it for you?" she asked. Her description suggested it was a female Garden Tiger (Arctia caja) so I happily agreed. It was certainly worth the ride ...


Amongst the last catch were ten new species; of these, only one was caught in the trap. I am still trying to understand why some go into the trap while others cling to it or settle on the surrounding grass, the fence or the door of the garden shed. With care, I was able to pot and later observe these 'reluctants' although photographing most of them proved more difficult that I would have preferred.

I was pleased with this Light Emerald (Campaea mararitata) ...


... and this attractive little Foxglove Pug (Eupithecia pulchellata pulchellata) ...


The eight other new species were a micro moth, Udea olivalis, a Small Angled Shades (Euplexia lucipara), a Pale-shouldered Brocade (Lacanobia thalassina), a Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata), a Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata), a Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula), a Marbled Minor (Oligia strigilis), and a Clouded Silver (Lomographa temerata). I am grateful to Tom Tams, our County moth recorder, for identifying the last three of these.

At 11.45pm the following evening, while I was releasing the moths, I photographed this Silver Y (Autographa gamma) feeding on a patch of Crane's Bill in the garden ...


The following afternoon, as I was cutting the grass, this male Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) flew up from the cover of the same plant and settled on the wall of the house ...

8 comments:

Roy said...

Really nice colours Emma. There certainly are some attractive coloured Moths around.

holdingmoments said...

Seems like you are having a whale of a time with this moth trap Emma. So many beauties too.

lotusleaf said...

Beautiful moth pictures. I never knew that moths were so attractive.

Wilma said...

That Garden Tiger female is quite striking. So with the mothing, you have now developed the perfect cover for illicit nighttime activities. ;-)
cheers,
Wilma

Wilma said...

This may be a repeat since my first attempt to leave a comment resulted in an error message.
That female Garden Tiger is quite striking. With this new mothing activity you have developed the perfect cover for illicit nighttime activities! ;-)

cheers,
Wilma

kirstallcreatures said...

Well done 'Moth Lady' the Garden Tiger is a beauty and lovely to read that it was kept for you by a friend. Linda

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks Roy and Keith: I'd hoped to catch some of the more colourful ones and when I do it's particularly exciting.
Yes, Wilma: I'm considering all kinds of other nocturnal activities using the moth trapping as a cover!
Thanks, Linda: I could be known as something much worse than The Moth Lady, I suppose!
Thanks, Lotusleaf: Seeing some indian Moths would be most interesting.

Davy T. said...

Excellent photos as usual Emma. Nice one.