Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Four Moths for the year

This male Pale Tussock is a great looking moth, fantastic furry legs and amazing antennae. With a wingspan of about 50mm it is quite big, but like so many I only see them when they are attracted to the light of the moth trap.

The Pale prominent above is one of a family that have tufts that stick up (prominently). At rest it is amazingly well camouflaged, looking like a piece of twig or bark. It's wing span is about 40mm but most of the time they seem to play dead, as befits a piece of wood.

This beautifully pattern moth is a White Spot and it is a Red Data Book species in the UK, being confined to coastal areas from Devon to Kent. It is quite a small moth with a wingspan of about 35mm. The larval food plant is Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans), the caterpillars feeding on the seeds at night, and descending to hide amongst the shingle during the day. Normally on the wing in June and July this one has emerged quite early. I've only caught one before, on June 23rd last year.

This is a much more common moth, a Red Twin-spot Carpet. Carpets are quite a large group and many fly in the daytime, as well as being attracted to light. Some of this group can be quite similar to small Butterflies, this species of Carpet has a wingspan of about 25mm, while others can be as large as 35mm. The distinction between butterflies and moths is of course man made as all are insects within the Order Lepidoptera.

1 comment:

Miguel Angel Servellón said...

It is a wonderful photography, congratulations