Friday, 14 August 2009

the Autumn is Ni

Just like the birds at St Margaret's the most interesting moths are always gong to be migrants. We don't have vast tracts of hugely diverse forest, but we are ideally situated to receive migrants of all sorts that find their way across the channel.

Ni Moth (Trichoplusia ni)

The Ni Moth occurs in small numbers in the UK in most years, of up to 50 per year. Its breeding range encompasses southern Europe and North Africa, though occasional larvae have been found in Britain.

It is a bit of a Silver Y look alike but with the background a lighter grey-brown. The central silver marks are separate, and with some imagination the inner mark forms an "n".

Tree-lichen Beauty (Cryphia alga)

Two rather good examples of tree Lichen Beauties, in the past I've caught a few but they have normally been very worn. Until recently this species was considered a scarce immigrant, and specimens here may well be migrants, but it is also a recent colonist. There are a number of records in London each year, indicating that there is a colony in the area.

Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera)
Anther migrant, that sometimes has bumper years, the last major influx was in 2002, but with two so far this year it is still possible that there might be a good late showing this year.

Six-striped Rustic (Xestia sexstrigata)

Not a migrant, but last night was only the third that I have trapped in the garden. All have been in August and along with the Rosy Rustic I caught the night before, it is a herald of the Autumn.

Garden Tiger (Arctia caja)

After a twelve day gap another Garden Tiger appeared. It doesn't match dots with any from earlier so it is a new moth. Judging by how worn the become I don't think there would be any survivors from the July visitors.

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