Friday, 22 July 2016

22nd July - When a T-Shirt Feels Right

The middle of July delivered summer finally, temperatures well into the thirties, headlines in the papers that it is hotter than anywhere in the world, and everybody complaining that it is well too hot, and I can't sleep.  By the end of the week it had cooled down a little, and on Thursday night I decided once more to try the moth trap.  The Hummingbird Hawk-moth on Sunday was a good sign, and I was hopeful of at last a good return, the conditions were still and quite warm, it did seem to be perfect, but then again I had said that on several occasions this year.

When I reached the trap in the morning I was pleased to see it was quite busy.  Unfortunately I lost a lovely Swallowtail moth, it had settled on the outside of the box, and despite my best efforts it flew off never to return.  First up was a Peppered Moth, a delightful combination of black and white, that appears to be dusted over the insect.


I don't normally bother with some of the very small micro moths, but this micro moth caught my eye, the attraction being the reticulated patterns on the wings and body.


This is Acleris forsskaleana, or the Maple Leaftier Moth.  Relatively common in certain parts of Britain, the main foodplants are field maple and sycamore.  Size wise it ihas a wingspan of between 12 - 15 mm, so small.

Next was what I was hoping for, the first Elephant Hawk-moth of the year.


It looks a little faded.

Next was a Phoenix, a lovely pattern on the upperwing.


It turns the abdomen up when at rest.


Then another hawk-moth, this time the cuddly Poplar.


One of my favourites.


Another common night flying moth at this time of year, the Coronet.


The second Elephant Hawk-moth was hidden under the egg boxes, this time in much better condition.


Showing the pink hind wings.


And the third hawk-moth, non all year then three species come along at once, the larger Privet Hawk-moth.


Again showing the lovely pink and black markings in the wings.


Next was a Scalloped Oak.


The hair quite thick around the neck and head.


Last in the moth trap was this Dark Arches.


But to finish off there was a Nut-tree Tussock sitting on the wall close by to the trap.


So at last some moths of quality to match the perfect conditions, I was beginning to worry that they were going to pass me by this year, but the perseverance played off in the end.  I love hot nights.

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