Monday, 24 May 2010

Eye Eye

This week a few more interesting moths have appeared in the moth traps. Unfortunately if you have "wild" specimens as opposed to adults bred from eggs or caterpillars they often are damaged round the edges!

Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula)

The Chocolate tip has two generations in the south, the early one flies in April and May, and then it reappears in August and September. The caterpillars feed on Poplars, Aspens and Sallows. It's a shame that this one has lost the tip to it's left wing.

Green Silver-lines (Pseudoips prasinana)

There aren't that many green moths in the UK, and certainly not many as bright as the Green Silver-lines. This one is quite early, the main flight period starts in June. Over the last few years many of the perceptions of flight periods have changed, possibly a sign of long term changes in our climate. The caterpillars of this beauty feed on Oak and Birch.

Eyed Hawk-moth (Smerinthus ocellata)

Hawk-moths have always held a fascination for naturalists and in the UK there is nothing to beat the flashing blue and black "eyes" that appear when this moth is provoked. It makes it look as if a fierce, much larger animal, has suddenly appeared.

Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda)

If there was a fluffy toy in the insect world then the Pale Tussock is it. Close up it looks like a furry Teddy Bear.

In Kent, this cuddly looking moth, or rather it's caterpillars, used to be a pest of Hops when they were commonly grown.

Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea)

I catch a few Pine Beauties each year. The caterpillars feed on the pine needles of Scots Pines and various other coniferous trees.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

There have been a few Holly Blues around for a while, but in the hot sunshine today there were several flying in the garden. Although they live up to their name and the caterpillars use Holy as one of the food plants, they also use Ivy, Bramble and several other plants. Although they do sometimes sit with their wings open most of the time they keep their wings closed and hide the beautiful blue of the upper-wing,

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