Yet More Moths

Friday, July 15th 2022

After several weeks of poor weather and small catches the more recent records of moths have been much improved.  A new species was recorded, a Lilac Beauty Moth.  It flies in June and July, and is locally distributed in much of England, Wales and Ireland.  The larvae feed on Honeysuckle of which there is plenty growing at Foxglove and also Privet of which we have a little.

A moth we do not often see is the Broom Moth, and as its name suggests, the caterpillars feed on Broom of which there is none growing in the reserve, however its other food plant is Bracken and we have plenty of that!

As has been said before we prefer to photograph the moths on a reasonable background, logs or leaves.  To ensure that we have a photo for ID purposes we do take them in the container and then we release them.  This Swallowtail moth in pristine condition, which is unusual as we normally catch them when they are a bit battered, landed on a leaf of the same colour when carefully released.  Hence the yellow of the moth does not show up well.  And when it was moved to a green leaf the photos taken were not in focus!

We use a sugar stirrer to help to release the moths.  Moths are very cooperative, some times, and walk onto the stick.  They are not as cooperative when being placed on a leaf.  I suspected that the moth would fly so Andrew was ready with his camera to get a photo.  He did!  Stick, leaf, no moth!

Thanks to the reserve managers and the Moth Team for putting out the traps.  Thanks to the Moth Team for the identification of the moths.  The results for the first six months of the year have been forwarded to the moth recorder for VC65.  Thanks to Mary for keeping the records.

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