A morning moth hunting

Its the first day of The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild. This happens each year and for 30 days in June everyone is encouraged to do something inspired by nature.  This could be cloud gazing, walking in the rain, paddling in a stream, or a beach clean.  Head over to The Wildlife Trust website here and scroll down for many more ideas.

Its been a very warm muggy day and thunder storms are due soon, so this morning before it got too hot I sat in the garden eating my breakfast.  It was lovely to sit eating my cereal listening to the beautiful bird song.  The young starlings were busy squabbling on the feeders as usual, the blackbirds were busy plucking unsuspecting insects off the low growing heather; and Robbie the robin was having a refreshing bath by the side of me.

As I sat there looking for inspiration for what to write about for my 30 Days Wild, a beautiful cinnabar moth fluttered quickly past me.  I then decided that today I would write about these creatures and would spend the next hour on a moth hunt .

The next moth I spotted was camouflaged so well I almost walked pasted it.

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It was a Flame Carpet moth (Xanthorhoe designata) resting on a piece of concrete in the shade.  They are common in gardens, hedgerows and woodland and feed on plants like rapeseed and cabbage.

The next moth I saw kept trying to drown in the pond.  I kept rescuing it but it insisted on flying straight back in.  It was a Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba).  I get a lot of these in the garden and they are always found around the honeysuckle.  Beneath is a photo of one that I took from another day.

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Next on my hunt I found a hairy moth larvae shading from the sunlight behind the garden fence.

20180509_151215 This Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus) despite its name doesn’t feed on oak.  It’s name comes from the fact its cocoon looks like an acorn.  It likes to eat heathers and other woody plants.

It was getting to the end of the hours moth hunt and I found the next moth by pure accident.  My leg brushed past the lovely bleeding hearts plant at the front of my garden and out clumsily fluttered a large silver moth.

20180531_142055This Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma) was beating it wing fast as I think it had recently emerged and was drying it’s wings out.  The moths are often seen in gardens feeding on the nectar from flowers.

My little moth hunt was over as it was starting to get hotter as the sun broke through the clouds.  I did have one final surprise though.

I found the most fascinating larvae.  I could have watched it all day shuffling along the tayberry branch.  Unfortunately I’m not sure what it is so maybe some of my lovely followers could help me with guessing what it is.  Any ideas what this could be?

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I spent a lovely morning in the garden looking for moths, and even in such a small period of time I was amazed what I had found.  I shall have to learn how to make a moth trap at some point and see what other species I can find in the garden.

Its fun to look under leaves and branches as you never know what delights you’ll find.

 

 

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