Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Moth trap - Wednesday morning

This is the third night in a row when I've put the moth trap out - things must be looking up!

And they certainly were when I found this stunning Privet Hawk moth! When the wings are closed it looks like a massive dark moth (it's our largest). When they're open it's something else!

This one is new to me. It's the Chamomile Shark, separated from the similar Shark by the fact that the dark streaks at the hind edge extend into the fringe. The 'mullet' on the head is reminiscent of a shark's dorsal fin, hence its name. It really is a beautiful moth in the hand.

After submitting my records at the end of the year, this record was questioned by Tim Norris, the Lepidoptera Recorder for Hampshire & the IOW. As a result, this record has now been changed to  'The Shark' and not 'Chamomile Shark'. Tim noted that, although this specimen does show the black lines extending onto the fringe on the one side, it doesn't on the other. But the main issue is the flight period, too late for the single-brooded Chamomile Shark, the main flight period of which occurs from April to May. This is just one example of what a great job Recorders do!

 There were also two coastal moths present:
This is Synaphe punctalis.

And I was really pleased to find my second Crescent Dart in a week, demonstrating that there must be a fairly healthy colony of this notable species on the West Wight!

1 comment:

  1. I am stunned, that is a beautiful creature! The others are beautiful too but not as stunning.