Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Moth Night Magic

This year I took part in the Moth Night, in which members of the public can record and identify moths as part of a national survey. The Moth Night takes place every year, and this year the survey focuses on Tiger Moths.
We put our moth trap out in the garden for the night, and checked its contents the following day.
One of the species we found was a Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria), a beautiful hairy yellow species. It's larvae feed upon numerous species of deciduous trees.

Sorry about the quality of the picture of this Canary-shouldered Thorn.

We also captured a Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina). They really couldn't have thought up a shorter name could they? ;-)

 A Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing.

A similar looking Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) was also in the trap.

A Large Yellow Underwing.

 Another moth species that was in the trap goes by the name of the Common Rustic Agg - what an odd name! It's scientific name is Mesapamea secalis agg.

Mesapamea secalis agg. poses.

A beautiful Scalloped Oak (Crocallis elinguaria) was also captured in the trap.

 A Scalloped Oak.

The aptly named Willow Beauty is indeed a beauty as we discovered when we caught it in our moth trap.

  A Willow Beauty.

My favourite one of them all was an Orange Swift (Triodia sylvina). The larvae live underground where they eat the roots of various plants including bracken, dandelion, dock, hop and Viper's Bugloss.

The Orange Swift moth - what a little beauty!

Until next time, keep on the wild side!

I have recently discovered (thanks to Barry Warrington, the local entomologist) that the Common Rustic Agg is actually an 'aggregate' of three moths: the Common Rustic, Lesser Common Rustic, and Remm's Rustic. The only way to identify the individual species is to examine the genitals. Quite a few people don't do this, so simply class all three species as 'Common Rustic Agg'.

No comments:

Post a Comment