Sunday, 20 December 2015

Mug Shots of Some Late Moths

December Moth, Poecilocampa populi.  Hayes, 9 December 2015.
December Moth, Poecilocampa populi.  Hayes, 9 December 2015.
Last year I saw none of the larger moths at all in my garden trap over the first half of the winter, but I have been a bit luckier this year.   This December Moth was in my trap well into its name month.  Previously I had only seen one specimen here, and that was a dead one that seems to have got itself trapped in my garage.  The showy comb-like antennae belong to the male.  Male moths often have more antenna surface, one way or another, to detect the female pheromones.

Red-green Carpet, Chloroclysta siterata.  Hayes, 10 October 2015.
Red-green Carpet, Chloroclysta siterata.  Hayes, 10 October 2015.
This Red-green Carpet was one of the last of the summer moths, popping up late on.  It's very recognisable, with its strong colours and uptilted tail.  The goggly eyes are an illusion caused by the way the compound eye structure absorbs the camera's flash.  This species also turns up early in the year.  I had one back in May.

Feathered Thorn, Colotois pennaria.  Hayes, 14 November 2015.
Feathered Thorn, Colotois pennaria.  Hayes, 14 November 2015.
In between those two, I had a couple of these splendid Feathered Thorns.  This, too, named for its antennae, is a male.

The December Moth was photographed sitting on one of the egg-boxes from my light trap.  The Red-Green Carpet was on the white painted door just behind the trap.  It looks smooth from a distance!  Quite a few species like the light but will not enter the trap, and instead rest on the paint and brickwork just behind it. The Feathered Thorn is on a piece of rotting wood.  I have a selection of types of bark and wood that I can get the moths to pose on.  However, when tapped onto a new surface, they will not often put their legs into a natural position.  They just leave them bent into any old configuration.

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