Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Moths Page 4

Image Taken on 07 Jul 2021 at 14:37    Image of day on 24 Aug 2021

The Ragwort has burst into life at several location, and the Cinnabar Moths have been busy laying the eggs to make a good 'crop' of their caterpillars.

Ref: 20210824_d73_20210707_1437_529 cinnabar moth caterpillars (various sizes) on ragwort flower buds(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jun 2021 at 13:01    Image of day on 30 Jun 2021

Photographing Cinnabar Moths has always been really difficult, but this one after an initial period of playing dead, kindly obliged with several quite decent flights past the camera.

Ref: 20210630_da1_20210601_1301_106+108+1307_143_ft1 cinnabar moth in 2 flights with buttercup (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 21 May 2010 at 10:59    Image of day on 29 Jun 2010

The first Cinnabar moth we have seen here with a striking red and black appearance that acts as a warning to birds that it tastes horrible. This one was caught in the moth trap and photographed against black, but it is also flies at dusk.

Ref: 20100629_da1_20100521_1059_225_ft1 cinnabar moth in flight (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jun 2019 at 14:21    Image of day on 13 Jul 2019

This Cinnabar Moth kept flying by us, and we couldn't resist catching it for a few photos. You don't usually see the bright red whole wing on the resting insect.

Ref: 20190713_da1_20190601_1421_001+1450_042_ft1 cinnabar moth in flight + foliage (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Jul 2013 at 13:20    Image of day on 17 Aug 2013

The Cinnabar Moth is a daytime flyer and quite common as a startling red fluttering in the air. The eggs are laid on the foliage of the poisonous ragwort plant, whose flowers are seen here, with a vividly (warning) marked poisonous caterpillar.

Ref: 20130817_da1_20130707_1320_065+1329_068_ft1 cinnabar moth in flight with ragwort flowers (montage 1)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Jul 2021 at 15:50    Image of day on 24 Aug 2021

The Cinnabar moth Caterpillars are taking over the Oxford Ragwort!
Wikipedia tell us that:-
    Cinnabar moth from Europe was released as a biological control agent
    against common ragwort in the USA (1991), Australia (2000) and New Zealand (1990)
but apparently with limited success.
Artificial introductions vary from utter failure to complete disasters (like the Australian Cane Toad introduced in 1935 and now a 'plague').

Ref: 20210824_d73_20210708_1550_048 cinnabar moths caterpillars on oxford ragwort(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Jun 2014 at 13:49    Image of day on 28 Aug 2014

This is a clouded border moth. Here you see the bottom of the wing.

Ref: 20140828_da1_20140622_1349_178+1450_320_ft1 clouded border moth in flight with hawthorn twig (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 12 Jun 2017 at 18:02    Image of day on 02 Aug 2017

A Clouded Border Moth, long before dark, choosing this vicious looking Blackberry stem as a convenient perch.
We photographed a Clouded Border moth in flight in 2014 as a moth-trap catch - see 2014 aug.htm scrolling down to 28th August 2014.
The Clouded Border moth has quite high reflective patches in Ultra-violet light - see

Ref: 20170802_df3_20170612_1802_008 clouded border moth on blackberry stem(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 21 May 2010 at 10:27    Image of day on 05 Jul 2017

We last saw a Clouded Silver moth in May 2010 in a Moth-trap catch, so it must be on the wing both day and night (ID books don't state either way). The one in-flight image from 2010 was only moderately good and we didn't 'publish' it at the time, but now with a good reference image it is worth including because it shows how the antennae are tucked underneath the body in the moths resting position (as widely shown in ID book & WWW images) but are forward in flight.

Ref: 20170705_da1_20100521_1027_077_ft1 clouded silver moth (lomographa temerata) in flight (crop)(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 16 May 2017 at 14:52    Image of day on 05 Jul 2017

This pretty Clouded Silver Moth was flying along a path in the middle of the afternoon, landing in a patch of Cherry hedge where it stayed long enough to photograph it.

Ref: 20170705_df3_20170516_1452_028 clouded silver moth on cherry leaves(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Aug 2019 at 09:34    Image of day on 20 Oct 2019

A Common Carpet Moth makes a couple of flights

Ref: 20191020_da1_20190825_0934_156+0935_161+1126_019_ft1 common carpet moth (epirrhoe alternata) in flight + greater willow herb flowers (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Aug 2013 at 10:42    Image of day on 02 Oct 2013

A very common moth here that 'disappears' when perched on bark - the light rear wing is then hidden under the forewing.

Ref: 20131002_da1_20130811_1042_038+1052_064_ft1 common carpet moth in flight with hawthorn (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Jun 2017 at 11:53    Image of day on 09 Aug 2017

A Common Emerald Moth in flight.

Ref: 20170809_da1_20170618_1153_295+1311_324_ft1 common emerald moth in flight + grass seed head (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Jul 2013 at 13:05    Image of day on 02 Sep 2013

This is a Common Footman Moth in flight. Apparently they appear anywhere that there are soft fruit bushes.

Ref: 20130902_da1_20130714_1305_068+1451_284_ft1 common footman moth in flight with grass head (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Aug 2012 at 21:36    Image of day on 07 Oct 2012

A common Footman Moth with eyes glowing in the camera flash. Up and down doesn't seem to mean much to many small insects.

Ref: 20121007_db1_20120818_2136_019 common footman moth on yellow buddleia (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Jun 2009 at 14:52    Image of day on 11 Jul 2009

We are fairly sure this is a Common Rustic moth caught on clover so we knew what to provide as a 'prop'. It then surprised us by feeding off the 'prop' in front of the camera setup. First just landing.

Ref: 20090711_da1_20090614_1452_513 ft1 common rustic (q) moth flying to clover flower & starting to feed (web crop) 2 of 6(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Jun 2009 at 14:52    Image of day on 11 Jul 2009

And second the proboscis is uncurling complete with droplets or particles from it's previous meal.

Ref: 20090711_da1_20090614_1452_517 ft1 common rustic (q) moth flying to clover flower & starting to feed (web crop) 6 of 6(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 03 Jun 2015 at 14:54    Image of day on 04 Sep 2015

At the beginning of June we photographed this large Drinker Moth caterpillar on a not very attractive garden pot - the first we have spotted one for 9 years.

Ref: 20150904_p10_20150603_1454_533 drinker moth caterpillar about 4cm long + 2 greenfly (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Jul 2015 at 10:31    Image of day on 04 Sep 2015

A month later in the moth trap we were delighted to find our first ever adult Drinker Moths, a mix of 3 males and 2 females (moth traps normally catch mainly the exploratory males of moth species). Neither female would fly in the 'tunnel', so here is one hanging from a hawthorn twig. Note the absence of frilled antennae that is the male equipment for finding a female.

Ref: 20150904_da1_20150706_1031_062_ft1 drinker moth female on hawthorn twig (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Jun 2017 at 11:35    Image of day on 10 Aug 2017

The Drinker Moth is a moderately large moth that flew rather nicely for us. Here are 3 flights.

Ref: 20170810_da1_20170618_1135_233+237+1149_279+1309_318_ft1 drinker moth male in 3 flight + fox & cubs flowers (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg




Comments and requests for image use

To make a comment, ask for information or to request a full resolution image, send us an email including the reference or the date for the image you are interested in.

All initial contacts should be made using the icon below:-

Mail Us