Thursday, July 08, 2010

We've struck gold

Greetings, moth-lovers. Here are the results from last night's trapping.

We caught about 270 moths of 44 species. It's the largest catch by far, and with the most species, too. I set my alarm for 4.40am. Unfortunately I am so slow it takes me that long to get all the moths done before going to work. They can get frisky and escape when the temperature starts to rise, and I needed to turn off the bulb anyway.

I'd been counting and identifying for about 15 minutes when it started mizzling (that annoying mix of mist and, er, drizzle). Soon it got heavier and I fetched a rather inadequate umbrella to shelter the books and camera. The moths were OK in their trap; it was just me who got progressively damper.

Now I'm getting blase about hawkmoths, I think this was my favourite today:

Beautiful Golden Y
Beautiful Golden Y. And isn't it just that.

Ruby Tiger
Ruby Tiger, which would probably make a good name for some celebrity's child

The whole caboodle:

  • Dark Arches, 75
  • The Uncertain, 27
  • Common Footman, 17
  • Common Wainscot, 17
  • The Flame, 10
  • Light Arches, 9
  • Heart & Dart, 8
  • The Snout, 8 
  • Riband Wave, 6
  • Mother of Pearl, 5
  • Barred Straw, 4
  • Buff Arches, 4
  • Buff-tip, 4
  • Burnished Brass, 4
  • Clouded Silver, 4
  • Elephant Hawkmoth, 4
  • Flame-shoulder, 4
  • Common Rustic, 3
  • Peppered Moth, 3
  • Ruby Tiger, 3
  • Setaceous Hebrew Character, 3
  • The Clay, 3
  • Willow Beauty, 3
  • Beautiful Golden Y, 2
  • Blood-vein, 2
  • Brimstone, 2
  • Double Square-spot, 2
  • Ghost Moth, 2
  • Large Yellow Underwing, 2
And one each of these:
  • Coxcomb Prominent
  • Dun-bar
  • Figure of Eighty
  • Iron Prominent
  • Poplar Grey
  • Poplar Hawkmoth
  • Small Elephant Hawkmoth
  • Small Magpie Moth
  • Small Waved Umber
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
  • The Shark
  • The Lackey
We also caught this, which is so red it must surely be a Rufous Minor, but apparently to be sure you need to kill the moth and dissect its genitalia, and I'm not doing that.

Rufous Minor?
    photos taken with Canon Powershot A640


    1. Can't get enough of these moths of yours Katie, excellent stuff.

      I once went to buy a book on moth ID in Waterstones and walk out the shop when I found how many hundred there are....coward!

    2. Ref the Rufous Minor and the "dissect it to be sure" conundrum, how long do you think it will be before evolution kicks in and males develop a pale blue "RM" marking, whilst females develop three pairs of shoes?

    3. @Pete, yes, the book looks scary and there are loads of moths that seem to be identical, but I'm hoping it'll get easier as I go along.

      @tense, ha ha, very funny :o|
      I hope it happens sooner rather than later.