Moths

Monday, September 14th 2020

The moth traps have been set on a Tuesday evening as long as the weather has been suitable.  Thanks to the reserve managers and volunteers who set them.  Autumnal Rustic moths appear in the autumn.  When they first emerge they have a red sheen to them.  This fades as they age.  The larva can be found between October and May, feeding on low growing plants such as Heather, Bluebell and bedstraws,  Adults fly from August to  October.

Angle Shades moth can be found all year round, but mainly from April to early July and then again from late July through to November.  There are probably two generations, with the second being swelled in numbers by immigrants.  The adult feeds on flowers including those of Common Reed (Phragmites australis).

Some moths can be found out and about.  Hidden in some Gorse was a Bulrush Wainscot.  Larva of this moth, as its name suggests, feed on the inside of Bulrush stems.  It moves to new stems as it grows, leaving clear entrance and exit holes.  The adults do not feed.

Another moth that can be seen during the day at this time of year, is a Silver Y.  It can be identified by the fact that it rarely sits still, with wings always beating very quickly.  This one was flying and nectaring from Devil's Bit Scabious.  The proboscis is deep inside the flower.  These moths are immigrants.

Thank you to Janet for providing the first two photographs.  It is not always easy to get the moths to sit just where you want them!


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