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Moths Page 13

Image Taken on 02 Jul 2015 at 16:29    Image of day on 02 Sep 2015

For some reason - nature, farming practice or our observance - we are noticing more moths startled from the hedges in daylight and hiding as we walk along. This is a Silver-ground Carpet Moth hiding on a leaf.

Ref: 20150902_df3_20150702_1629_146 silver-ground carpet moth hiding in hedge(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Jun 2009 at 15:58    Image of day on 02 Sep 2015

From our archive of 6 years ago, here is an image of a Silver-ground Carpet Moth in flight with a Red Campion flower.

Ref: 20150902_da1_20090624_1558_212+1516_187 ft1 silver-ground carpet moth in flight with red campion flower (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Jun 2021 at 08:34    Image of day on 09 Jul 2021

A Silver-ground Carpet Moth shows off the intricate wing pattern. The rather elongated look is because the wings are not fully covering one another as you normally see when the insect is resting.

Ref: 20210709_d73_20210606_0834_030 silver-ground carpet moth on leaf with rear wings partly exposed(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Jul 2013 at 15:56    Image of day on 19 Sep 2013

There are several species of Burnet Moth, the most common types differentiated by the number of spots on a single side (not BOTH sides like counting spots on ladybird carapaces). This one was using it's proboscis to drink nectar from the thistle flower, accompanied by two hover-flies.

Ref: 20130919_df1_20130730_1556_084 six-spot burnet moth and marmalade hoverflies (episyrphus balteatus) on thistle flower (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Jul 2009 at 12:56    Image of day on 31 Aug 2009

This is the first Burnet Moth of any sort we have spotted here. They are day-flying moths but don't fly very readily. So we have made a montage of our guest doing the best flight we got and then fluttering on a teasel head (where we had found it).

Ref: 20090831_da1_20090725_1256_169+1306_223 ft1 six-spot burnet moth in flight and perched on teasel (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 10 Aug 2017 at 15:21    Image of day on 20 Sep 2017

The Duck-shaped pond hosts numerous small white Moths that flutter about just over the water and then usually perch annoyingly out of view in the marginal vegetation. There are a variety of these China-mark Moths, of which this is the Small China-mark Moth staying for a moment in a less than ideal hiding spot.

Ref: 20170920_df3_20170810_1521_039 small china-mark moth(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Jun 2018 at 14:33    Image of day on 12 Aug 2018

These moths that spend their lives precariously over water are generically called 'China Mark' moths, but comes in 4 varieties (at the moment - who knows what climate warming will bring) of which this is the Small China-mark Moth. You can just see the gorgeous patterning that adorns the lower wings.

Ref: 20180812_df3_20180625_1433_003 small china-mark moth at water surface(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Jul 2015 at 10:40    Image of day on 03 Sep 2015

Our first ever sighting of a Small Elephant Hawk Moth, along with a (non-small) Elephant Hawk Moth, gave us a chance to compare them.
The Small Elephant Hawk Moth is on the left, and the Elephant Hawk Moth is on the right.
This is a photo-montage but at exactly the same scale. They are not just different sizes of the same insect, but distinct species with similar colour palette but different colour patterns. Both are quite small 'for hawk moths' - you might imagine that anything called 'Elephant' was at the large end, but it is the appearance of the caterpillar as a brown 'trunk' that gives them their name.

Ref: 20150903_da1_20150706_1040_088+1116_183_ft1 small elephant hawk moth + elephant hawk moth (identical scale montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Jun 2023 at 07:27    Image of day on 03 Aug 2023

These two pink apparitions are respectively a Small Elephant Hawk-moth (big by average moth standards) and the 'normal (bigger)' Elephant Hawk-moth. Although they share the same strange mix of drab green and purple pink their markings are distinct.
We wanted to know whether these two species were separately evolved (convergent evolution) or one evolved from the other. A hopeful paper at contains lots of detail, but without technical background in genomics the various charts don't divulge much. There is no 'summary' to help.
If any expert finds this and can help, we would be delighted to update this entry.

Ref: 20230803_p10_20230611_0727_495+498 small elephant hawk moth + elephant hawk moth (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Jul 2015 at 10:41    Image of day on 03 Sep 2015

This Small Elephant Hawk Moth was unusually caught twice in a single photo sequence. The camera fires 3 times at about 7fps to try to catch the insect somewhere in the frame. We have moved the top insect and duplicated the leaf by moving it upwards to avoid overlap.

Ref: 20150903_da1_20150706_1041_093+094_ft1 small elephant hawk moth flying from hawthorn twig @7fps 1+2 of 2 (vertically spread montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 17 Jun 2023 at 14:13    Image of day on 13 Aug 2023

The catch also included a few Small Elephant Hawk-moths. Here is a montage of this colourful not-so-little delight.

Ref: 20230813_da1_20230617_1413_301+300_ft1 small elephant hawk-moth in 2 flights (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 04 Jun 2019 at 08:42    Image of day on 14 Jul 2019

This Small Magpie Moth fly by and landed in a hedge plant.
It turned out not to be a 'vanilla' Magpie Moth, but a different species the Small Magpie Moth.
A search of our archives finds that some of our 'Magpie Moth' ID's should be 'Small Magpie Moth', not yet corrected

Ref: 20190714_df5_20190604_0842_028 small magpie moth (inverted under twig)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 17 May 2022 at 08:46    Image of day on 25 Jun 2022

This one of the thousands of buttercups around is right by the back-door. This moth is about 9mm across - one of a family of micro lepidoptera that are fascinating but size makes them hard to study.

Ref: 20220625_df3_20220517_0846_031 small yellow underwing moth (panemeria tenebrata) (typically 9mm) feeding on buttercup (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Aug 2013 at 10:35    Image of day on 03 Oct 2013

Our first record of what we THINK is a Smoky Wave moth. Whatever - it is a beautifully subtle pattern on a translucent wing.
Not a single flight but taken as two flights in the same minute.

Ref: 20131003_da1_20130811_1035_025+022_ft1 smoky wave (q) moth (scopula ternata (q)) in flight (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Aug 2015 at 10:39    Image of day on 01 Oct 2015

This is a Snout Moth (exact species not certain) with subtle but interesting wing pattern and scalloped edges.

Ref: 20151001_da1_20150802_1039_028+1237_266_ft1 snout moth (prob hypena proboscidalis) in flight + thistle flower (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Jul 2013 at 14:15    Image of day on 02 Sep 2013

A Spinach moth (which doesn't mean it has anything to do with the vegetable), has a rather subtly marked forewing.

Ref: 20130902_da1_20130714_1415_254_ft1 spinach moth in flight (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Jun 2023 at 13:00    Image of day on 28 Jul 2023

Illustrating the damage Spindle Ermine Moths do, here is a silky bagful of soon to leave caterpillar along with half a leaf completely stripped.

Ref: 20230728_d72_20230602_1300_028 spindle ermine moth caterpillar infestation (id only)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Jun 2023 at 13:00    Image of day on 28 Jul 2023

The Spindle Ermine Moth infestation this year is not as bad as last year (we estimate about 30% of last years) , but some of the trees are very badly smothered.

Ref: 20230728_d72_20230602_1300_024 spindle ermine moth caterpillar infests whole tree (crop with insert)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 28 May 2022 at 09:05    Image of day on 03 Jul 2022

Continuing the story of the Ermine Moth caterpillars: a walk down a 20 metre long path found our way blocked by about 20 silk threads hanging from a Spindle Tree about 4 metres above. Clinging to the thread were hundreds of caterpillars we have to believe to be Spindle Ermine Moths. Much harder to photograph than to see, here is an attempt to catch the hanging wall of threads.

Ref: 20220703_df3_20220528_0905_131 spindle ermine moth caterpillars (yponomeata cagnagella) cling to metres long 20 silk threads on spindle tree 1 of 4 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 28 May 2022 at 09:06    Image of day on 03 Jul 2022

Looking up we see the same nets of silk we saw in the hedge, but this time several metres up in the Spindle tree.

Ref: 20220703_df3_20220528_0906_142 spindle ermine moth caterpillars (yponomeata cagnagella) cling to metres long 20 silk threads on spindle tree 3 of 4 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg




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