31 July, 2009

Micros and Macros

I don't know what it is about them, but Moth watching is actually quite addictive; when you are looking for them you really don't want to stop. Sometimes I find myself going to bed at 1am after spending a couple of hours in the garden watching absolutely nothing, but still not giving up hope! However, these last couple of nights have been especially good, weather wise for Moths, both Macro (the larger families) and Micros (the 'minute' families)

The Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) is one of those Micro species which you really don't want in the house. They will eat through clothes and curtains and can easily pass by un-notice due to their small size...

Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella)

The Micro Moth, Blastobasis adustella is another species that can easily find its way inside the house if attracted to a light, but I don't think they do any damage. These Moths have a very distinctive long, thin shape with a V-pattern on across their backs.

Blastobasis adustella

The night before last, this Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta puta) appeared at the back-door. I always get excited when a Macro turns up in the garden, but couldn't ID this guy without the help of members at BirdForum... and yes I know the door need a clean!

Shuttle shaped Dart (Agrotis puta puta)

Occasionally in the garden, I find species of Moth on the wing during the day.
The Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) is one of these such species and can easily be flushed from long or short grass in any garden during the day. It even has a snout!

Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)

Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)

My personal favourite 'Micro' Moth is the Mintmoth (Pyrausta aurata) which has recently reappeared in the garden after an absence of over a year. These tiny Moths fly only in sunny weather and are attracted to the mint and thyme in the garden. It can be very hard to tell them apart from the Small Yellow Underwing which also visits the garden. I took the following shots last Autumn when they disappeared.

Mintmoth (Pyrausta aurata)

Mintmoth (Pyrausta aurata)

1 comment:

Linda Yarrow said...

I have recently bought both mint and thyme for my garden so I will be looking out for the Mintmoth, thanks for the info :-)