Wednesday, 17 September 2008

More from the moth trap

Last night I caught a couple of new moths for the autumn, both of which were attractive species, with interesting names.

The L-album Wainscot is a distinctively-marked wainscot that is restricted to the southern counties of England from Cornwall eastwards to Kent. The name obviously comes from the "L" mark on the wing, but I can't find out why it is called "L-album". Any thoughts would be appreciated. The adults fly in two generations; in July and again in September and October. This is the first of the second generation I've seen this year. In each of the last six years I've caught his moth, but this year has been the poorest for numbers. The second generation has appeared between Sept 10th and Sept 18th, so date wise it's right on time. It is most frequent in damp coastal habitats. The overwintering caterpillars feed on various grasses.

The Frosted Orange is an attractive moth, which occurs fairly commonly throughout England. It inhabits a wide range of woodlands, open ground and marshes, where it can be found on the wing from August to October. The larvae feed internally in the wide stems of such plants as thistle (Carduus spp) and burdock (Arctium), also pupating within the stem. This is the first one I've caught this Autumn, and only the second one I've caught. The first was on Sept 14th 2005, just two days earlier.


Gavin Haig said...

'Album' is Latin for 'white', so presumably it just means 'white L'? Brings a whole new meaning (or lack of it) to the Beatles' White Album.

On the other hand, the guys who gave this moth its moniker may have had something completely different in mind...

Tony Morris said...

Thanks Gavin, glad you at least had a proper education, I dropped latin when I was 12 and now regret it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,
You also see this in the scientific names of some of the butterflies and moths, eg. white-letter hairstreak is Satyrium w-album and comma is Polygonium c-album. There's also the black v moth which is Arctornis l-nigrum, but I think that one lost something in translation.
John Foster