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Autumn Moths

Sunday, November 1st 2020

When the weather has been calm enough, the moth trap has been set regularly. There are several species that only fly late in the year such as this Feathered Thorn which flies between mid September and early December. The males are often seen on the wing after dark and readily come to light several hours after dusk.

Green-brindled Crescent is often found at dark feeding at Ivy flowers and blackberries. There are two forms of this pretty patterned moth and both were discovered in the same trap. The dark one is a tawny brown colour.

The forewings of the paler form are 'dusted' with bright metallic green. Both forms have a white crescent-like mark on their forewings.

Another species that feeds on Ivy and blackberries is Pink-barred Sallow. The larval foodplants include the catkins of sallows where the larvae feed until the catkins fall. Once on the ground they construct an underground cocoon.

Yellow-line Quaker is on the wing from September to November and overwinters as an egg, laid on the branches of its foodplant.

A similar but slightly larger moth is Red-line Quaker. Woodland rides are one of its preferred habitats and the larval foodplants are the catkins and leaves of willows so the willow carr laced with net rides at Foxglove is perfect for this bonny moth!

Thank you to the team of species recorders for identifying the species and to Christine Meek for sharing these photographs and of course to Gerry for putting out the traps!

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