Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fallen Leaves

Today was the first day of October and the signs of Autumn are now well under way.

As the leaves fall from the trees I've sill been running my moth traps. I don't normally write much about moths here since I started my daily blog reporting the catch each day, but the change that occurs as Autumn arrives is worth a look.

I suppose that in most animal species there are several reasons for the appearance of the individuals. One may be to attract members of the opposite sex and another to either deter or hide from predators. In the case of moths, which are mainly active during the night it is important that there are not too obvious when they are resting during the day. I think that it may be for this reason that so many species of the moths that are caught at this time of year exhibit what I would call Autumn colours.

This is a typical Autumn arrival, but usually, in my garden, in small numbers. The hind-wing, normal hidden is dark grey.

 Early arrivals include Lunar Underwings, a variable species sometimes quite abundant, occurring in forms that vary from as pale as the Beaded Chestnut above to almost black. It can look similar to the moth above, but always has a pale underwing with a "lunar" mark on it.

 The Frosted Orange is one of my favourites, a very dead leaf type of pattern.

One of the groups that I've been catching in the last week or so, are the Sallows, below are the four species I've caught so far this year, from the the group of seven that have occurred since I've been trapping here. 

 Centre-barred Sallow

Barred Sallow


Orange Sallow

Another of the Autumn groups are the Thorns, altogether I've caught seven species, here are the three that I caught in September

 Large Thorn

 Dusky Thorn

Canary-shouldered Thorn

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