Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Moths Page 8

Image Taken on 26 Jul 2020 at 12:43    Image of day on 31 Aug 2020

A really beautiful if rather small 2cm (0.7 inch) wingspan Mint Moth feasting on the flowering mint plants. The inner yellow 'dots' are actually mostly hidden streaks on the lower wings.
Allowing patches of mint to flower in the last year or two has been unexpectedly rewarding.

Ref: 20200831_df3_20200726_1243_117 mint moth (pyrausta aurata) wingspan 20mm on mint flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Jul 1999 at 05:46    Image of day on 10 Aug 2010

And finally from 11 years ago we had completely forgotten finding this pair mating on grass stems taken with an early digital camera working at less than 1 M pixel and writing the results to a floppy disc!

Ref: 20100810_mvc_19990707_0546_545 moth buff-tip pair mating (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image of day on 26 May 2005

First ever sighting of this very attractive Pebble Hook-Tip Moth.

Ref: 20050526_p20_1010461 moth pebble hook-tip male 2005may11_15-50-22(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 28 Aug 2015 at 11:03    Image of day on 30 Oct 2015

This tiny moth only about a quarter of an inch long is on a Verbascum stem. This is a 'Micro-moth' of which there are over 1000 species in the UK along with almost that many normal (macro) sized moths.

Ref: 20151030_df3_20150828_1103_106 moth pyrausta aurata (typically 8mm long) on leaf of great mullein (verbascum thapsus)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Aug 2017 at 13:27    Image of day on 04 Oct 2017

This Moth, another first sighting for us, does not have a common name but we think it is rather pretty.

Ref: 20171004_df3_20170815_1327_266 moth pyrausta purpuralis(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Jun 2017 at 10:47    Image of day on 09 Aug 2017

A Mottled Beauty Moth in flight.

Ref: 20170809_da1_20170618_1047_108+1301_309_ft1 mottled beauty moth (alcis repandata repandata) in flight + privit flowers (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Jun 2017 at 16:07    Image of day on 01 Aug 2017

In a Pot by the back door a self set Great Mullein plant has attracted the attention of at least 5 of these Mullein Moth caterpillars (seems appropriate). The Adult moth looks like a 'piece of twig' we have probably seen but have never photographed. The Caterpillar has this warning colouration - 'Eat me at your Peril'
The caterpillar is facing right - the 3 legs each side at the right are the 3 standard 3 legs per side of insects - the rest are called 'Prolegs'.

Ref: 20170801_df3_20170608_1607_001 mullein moth caterpillar about 4cm long on great mullein plant (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Jun 2017 at 16:09    Image of day on 01 Aug 2017

A view of a Mullein Moth caterpillar showing less detail of the legs but highlighting the damage to the Great Mullein plant leaves.

Ref: 20170801_df3_20170608_1609_016 mullein moth caterpillar about 4cm long on great mullein plant(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 May 2011 at 15:22    Image of day on 30 May 2011

A couple of first sighting of moths here. First the rather drab 'Muslin Ermine' moth (called just the 'Muslin Moth' in some ID books) has surprisingly white legs - its not a lighting effect.

Ref: 20110530_da1_20110501_1522_174+1602_292_ft1 muslin ermine moth male with hawthorn twig (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Aug 2019 at 10:11    Image of day on 17 Oct 2019

Out first sighting of a Frosted Orange Moth, but a reluctant flyer. The photo-kit here takes 3 consecutive frames (all with flash) at about 250mS intervals. This insect tended to jump onto the soft paintbrushes we use to tease them into flight, and we catch the moment that this one departed. Read bottom upwards.

Ref: 20191017_da1_20190825_1011_287-289_ft1 frosted orange moth (gortyna flavago) flying from brush head @4fps (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 09 Aug 2010 at 11:18    Image of day on 23 Sep 2010

We put the moth trap out Sunday-Monday night and caught something like 1000 insects! Many wouldn't oblige in our flight kit, but some did. This lovely little 'Orange swift moth' obliged with just this one image.

Ref: 20100923_da1_20100809_1118_101+1231_228_ft1 orange swift moth in flight with hawthorn twig (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 20 Jul 2006 at 23:57    Image of day on 02 Aug 2006

A chance image of a Orange Swift Moth (Male) as it flew by. Rarely seen with wings spread, identification books always show it with the wings folded down the body.

Ref: 20060802_d3e_20060720_2357_018 fb1 orange swift moth male in flight(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jul 2021 at 15:54    Image of day on 24 Aug 2021

The Oxford Ragwort plants have just started flowering. Just right of lower middle you can see the first Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar that we have spotted this year. The top flowerhead is massively deformed. There are several other examples, and some years we see similar on Oxeye daisies. We think it probably an insect converting the flower for breeding purposes, but have been unsuccessful in finding out what species. This plant is poisonous to most creatures, but the Cinnabar Moth absorbs the poison to make itself poisonous, and has the warning colouration to tell the bird not to 'try it for dinner'. We also sometimes see Cinnabar Moths feeding on Groundsel where they don't pick up the poison defence. They don't do as well on this plant, and we haven't seen any on Groundsel so far this year.

Ref: 20210824_d73_20210701_1554_015 oxford ragwort deformed flower heads & small cinnabar moth caterpillar(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Aug 2015 at 10:53    Image of day on 20 Oct 2015

A new sighting for us is this Pebble Prominent moth. This is two views of the same moth in different collecting boxes. In the second it was fluttering wings to warm up the flight muscles and we hoped for a launch, but it was content to out-stare us. Upon release it flew fine into a bush to wait in safety for the next night.

Ref: 20151020_da1_20150822_1053_128+1054_132_ft1 pebble prominent moth in box resting and with wings spread (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Aug 2015 at 11:24    Image of day on 03 Oct 2015

While he rests between flights in a collecting box, we enjoyed this unusually good view of the male Peppered Moth's antennae he uses to 'sniff out' the girls.

Ref: 20151003_da1_20150802_1124_221_ft1 peppered moth in box with clear view of male antennae (id crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Aug 2015 at 11:24    Image of day on 03 Oct 2015

Another regular visitor is the Peppered moth - a study in the beauty of Black and White. An average sized moth, but stands out as we empty the moth trap.

Ref: 20151003_da1_20150802_1124_218+1235_246_ft1 peppered moth in flight + great willow herb flowers (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Jul 2013 at 14:02    Image of day on 16 Aug 2013

Caught in our moth trap (along with about 300 other moths) this Peppered Moth wouldn't fly down our photographic flyway, so we contented ourselves with portrait on a hawthorn twig.
Males have these 'feathery' antennae with which to pick up (it is said) single molecules of the females pheromones

Ref: 20130816_da1_20130707_1402_197_ft1 peppered moth on underside of hawthorn twig (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Aug 2015 at 11:08    Image of day on 03 Oct 2015

A plain Wave moth, we think, dwarfed by even this quite small teasel flower head.

Ref: 20151003_da1_20150802_1108_148+1236_262_ft1 plain wave (q) moth in flight + teasel head (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Sep 2020 at 06:42    Image of day on 28 Oct 2020

Plume Moths when perched all have something like the same appearance of a capital 'T'. But the 'top' of the 'T' is actually a set of several hairy wings normally only seen properly in flight'.

Ref: 20201028_d73_20200914_0642_060 plume moth common (emmelina monodactyla) on conservatory door(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Aug 2019 at 10:17    Image of day on 17 Oct 2019

A Plume Moth in flight. When perched the multiple wing 'plumes' merge together to make the insect look a capital 'T' with long top bar. We are not sure of the exact species, but it was brownish rather than the more usual 'white' varieties we see here.

Ref: 20191017_da1_20190825_1017_310+1123_004_ft1 plume moth in flight + teasel flower head (montage)(r+mb id@768).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