Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Moths - First LYU!

By mid-Summer many moth-trappers find that their traps are regularly invaded by regiments of Large Yellow Underwings....or LYUs as they are often inscribed in their personal records. The first one of the year turned up this morning.

They're big, gangly and have attitude! But you've got to give them credit - you will find them as far south as northern Africa, as far east as India, and as far west as the United States where they have recently been recorded in Alaska after having been introduced to the continent a while back, presumably accidentally (see here).

I almost missed this beautiful male White Ermine moth. As I was packing the moth trap away I suddenly noticed it fluttering across the lawn, the white wings making quite a contrast with the green grass. I picked it up and it suddenly died.....just like that. I felt a bit guilty....and confused. I was sure that I hadn't crushed it that badly between my, admittedly big, fingers. After giving it a send-off in a local nettle patch, I retired indoors where, reading up on the species, I discovered that it is a species famous for dying and playing dead! Well, it certainly fooled me!

Finally, what I think is a Poplar Grey which, I thought, was a very handsome looking moth!

Other species present were Light Brown Apple Moth (3), Bee Moth (2), Codling Moth, Treble Lines, Monopis obviella (I reckon the same one keeps coming back!), Common Quaker, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Muslin Moth (a grey male) and Flame Shoulder.

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