04 June, 2014

Hoary Footman

You don't need to go far to read about the disheartening decline exhibited by moth (and butterfly) populations throughout Britain. The outlook is sombre for many species, caused largely though human exploitation and destruction of delicate habitats. 

Luckily, there are a number of moths currently fighting against the trend. In particular, species such as Small Ranunculus, Toadflax Brocade, Jersey Tiger and Tree-lichen Beauty are establishing themselves in towns throughout central and southern England, despite having previously been restricted only to the most coastal localities. Hoary Footman is another example of a recent expansionist; historically found around sea-cliffs along the south-west coast but now widespread in the London suburbs. Quite why it's population has suddenly boomed is beyond me- perhaps it has something to do with improving air quality, and the subsequent surge in abundance of lichens upon which the larvae feed? Whatever the cause, it's a pleasure to have in the garden, and last night saw the much anticipated arrival of this year's first... 

Hoary Footman- coming to a garden near you.

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