Saturday, 2 April 2016

Moths are Back!

Dotted Chestnut, Conistra rubiginea.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016.
Dotted Chestnut, Conistra rubiginea.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016.
I have the pleasure of opening the monthly moth trap at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve.  And sometimes I get thanked for it!  It's like giving someone a piece of chocolate and thanking them for accepting it.

Anyway, after the moth shortage that is winter, the early Spring species have arrived.  Here are just a few.  The Dotted Chestnut was particularly good to see because it is a scarce species.  I saw another one at West Wickham last year. 

Oak Beauty, Biston strataria.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016.
Oak Beauty, Biston strataria.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016.
Most of the early moths are brown or grey, but the Oak Beauty is nicely marked.  This one was sitting on the outside of the trap and shows up nicely against the black netting.

Yellow Horned, Achlya flavicornis.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016.
Yellow Horned, Achlya flavicornis.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016. 
This species, the Yellow Horned, has the more typical muted coloration of the season.  The name comes from the colour of its antennae, which in this pic it is carefully concealing.  Actually, they are more orange than yellow.

Twin-spotted Quaker, Anorthoa munda.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016
Twin-spotted Quaker, Anorthoa munda.  Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, 26 March 2016.
Last for today, a Twin-spotted Quaker.  The reason for at least part of this name is clear.

There are representatives of three different moth families here; Noctuidae, Geometridae and Drepanidae.  The third and fourth pics are species I have not seen before.  So on the whole I thought this catch was very satisfactory, even though there were only 15 moths of 7 species.  (The others?  Either I didn't get a very good photo, or I am just hoping to get a better one later on.)

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