Moth of the year – Past the mothing peak

It was a slow build from just before the spring to the peak moth count and diversity where I was seeing almost 300 moths of 60 or so species in the scientific trap. At this point in the year there are many fewer moths arriving, just a few dozen this morning of 20 or so species. Still picking up an occasional NFM (new for me) and some NFY (new for year).

Old Lady
Old Lady, sometimes known as a Black Underwing

Among the recent highlights Oak Eggar, White-spotted Pinion, Red Underwing. But long gone are the days of several Hawk-moths to tally each morning and a range of beauties such as the Peppered Moth, Swallow-tailed Moth, Old Lady, Buff-tip, Buff Arches, and Buff-footman.

Buff Arches
Buff Arches

I’ve not seen any “Tigers” other than the Ruby Tiger, and even the grey and beige brigade numbers have fallen off significantly, just one or two Dark Arches from a high of more than 60 of that species one morning. It’s to be expected, although there are still migrants around and the autumnal moths are yet to arrive (Rosy Rustic aside).

Buff-tip
Buff-tip clinging to a twig, spot the moth!

There is always a chance of a Merveille du Jour, which never arrived last year, but there are other oak eaters that have come to the light during the summer, so who knows. Mervs usually fly in September and the December  Moth another one to look out for often comes in November. We’ll see.

Female Oak Eggar
Female Oak Eggar

Favourite moth of the year so far? Hard to pin it down. Eyed Hawk-moth, Lime Hawk-moth, Privet Hawk-moth, Oak Eggar, Swallow-tailed, Buff Arches, Buff-tip, all beautiful, Peppered Moth is astonishing especially its industrial evolution, but I think the one that gave me the biggest surprise seeing it just perched roosting on the outside of the trap on the morning of the 15th May this year was the enormous Puss Moth with its beautiful markings.

Puss Moth
Puss Moth

Some of the micros deserve a mention too though like the Brassy Long-horn Moths I saw on the Field Scabious along the Cottenham Lode, the Common Yellow Conch, Small China-mark, Small Magpie, Mother of Pearl, Orange Pine Twist, and the Orange Spotted Shoot. And, of course, there was also the Red Underwing

Author: bob投注平台

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.