Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Satellite, Eupsila transversa.  Noctuid.  Left: Moth trap in Hayes, 22 October 2011.  Right: Moth trap at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 23 October 2011.
Satellite, Eupsila transversa.  A Noctuid.  Left: Hayes, 22 October 2011.  Right: Sevenoaks, 23 October 2011.
As it gets closer to winter, I am catching many fewer moths in my trap; sometimes none at all. But those I do catch include some different species.

This one, the Satellite, is so called because of the two small dots to either side of the clear wing marking. It is a winter moth; it feeds between September and April, emerging only on milder nights to look for sugary berries and ivy flowers.  Its caterpillar is omnivorous, and among other things, will eat smaller caterpillars of other moth species.

My Hayes specimen is on the left. It is fresh, with clear markings, and the appearance of a fur stole. I saw another the next day, at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, shown on the right. Both are resting on the paper I prepared for such photos, grey, with a 5mm grid so that I can tell the size of the moth even when looking at a photo. While editing these, I moved them around to match up the grids, so I know that the Sevenoaks specimen is genuinely slightly smaller.

The light spots on its wings can vary in colour from white to tawny brown.

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