MOTHS

Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 2

JERSEY TIGER MOTH, DORSET

It’s been a remarkably mothy summer. Our interest in moths mainly centres on ‘clothes’ moths, detection, prevention and termination thereof. Suddenly, there are moths I’ve neither seen nor heard of before. MAGPIE MOTHDRINKER MOTH. And now, on the hyssop last Sunday, a Delta-winged Stealth Moth. It wasn’t in our (basic) book, but a quick online search revealed it to be a Jersey Tiger Moth Euplagia quadripunctaria. UK MOTHS has this to say:

“One of the most attractive of the Tiger moths, this species was until recently restricted in distribution to the Channel Islands and parts of the south coast . On the mainland it is commonest in south Devon, but colonies have recently appeared in Dorset and the Isle of Wight, and it has also been found in other southern counties. It now seems to be expanding its range quite quickly. There is also a thriving population in parts of London, but whether this is due to range expansion or the result of accidental introduction is still unclear. It flies both in the daytime, when it can be found feeding on various flowers, as well as at night, when it is attracted to light. The main flight period is July to September. The hairy larvae feed on a range of herbaceous plants including nettle (Urtica).”

With only a basic camera to hand, I took the first photo, expecting it to fly away at onceJersey Tiger Moth Dorset 1

However it kindly stayed around for a few more shotsJersey Tiger Moth Dorset 2

It carried on feeding happily
Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 3

It had particularly smart stripy legs…Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 4

…but I didn’t realise what this hint of orange under the wings indicated
Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 5

I never got a shot of the full glory of this moth – indeed I had no idea what to expect.  Courtesy of wiki, I now realise that beneath the black and white the moth was bright orange.File:Jersey Tiger Moth.JPG

DRINKER MOTH Euthrix potatoria

I’ve recently posted images of a moth I have never previously seen / noticed MAGPIE MOTH. Here’s another one that’s new to me – the endearingly alcohol-suggestive ‘Drinker Moth’. I thought at first it was an Oak Eggar moth, until I checked the ID. In some positions it looks more like a tiny mammal – check out those little feet  (photo 2), and furry tail (photo 7)… I rescued it from inside the house and took it outside. It didn’t much care for being on a sheet of paper and dropped to the ground, where it fluttered round rather feebly. In the end I put it on a flower to avoid inadvertent underfoot tragedy.

Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 1Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 2Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 3Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 5Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 6Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 7Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 8

Drinker Moth Euthrix potatoria 9

MAGPIE MOTH Abraxas grossulariata

This is an insect I had never knowingly heard of or seen until last weekend when it turned up in the kitchen. The species was once prized by collectors for its marking and colouring, apparently. They like currant and gooseberry bushes. And unwisely flying into kitchens. It’s also the first time I’ve seen or heard the word ‘Abraxas’ other than in the context of Santana’s 2nd album (1970), with its (at the time) controversial cover (Mati Klarwein’s ‘Annunciation’). Magpie Moth 1Magpie Moth 2Magpie Moth 3

SIX SPOT BURNET MOTH (Burnet Family) Emilia-Romagna 

FORESTER MOTH (Burnet Family) Emilia-Romagna

CINNABAR MOTH (Tiger Moth Family) Norfolk

OAK EGGAR MOTH Lochindorb, Scotland

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