Searching the Border

In the beginning there was no moths, catching a total of zero moths in the last 3 trapping nights. Fortunately, highly irregular events do occur and tonight was no exception with a total of 3 species from both Geometridae and Noctuidae families. The moth trap was set at the south-eastern corner of millennium wood, but initially the moth trap seemed problematic but easily resolved. The old MV bulb had died, some unique mothing memories where shared with that bulb, nevertheless a replacement bulb marked the start of a new beginning ending the Lepidoptera drought. The night started off redundant with the sign of moths, but the lure of a sheltered woodland became intriguing with the hope of finding moths. It did not take long before we struck moth, the aptly named Early Moth (Theria primaria) with both winged male and wingless female, a great find. The larvae of these moths feed on hawthorn (Cratageous monogyna) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and are locally common in central/southern Britain. The morphological features of this moth are fairly inconspicuous, composed of a background wash of bark brown colouring, with an orbicular spot within the discal cell on either forewing.

Satellite
Satellite

 

Dotted Border
Dotted Border

 

Another Geometridae appeared, a wonderful moth called Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) in the sub Family Ennominae. It’s a beautifully demarcated moth with two central cross lines as well as basal cross lines on the forewing. But this was a novel encounter of a moth’s lifecycle, settled on an ash tree were two dotted borders copulating, an awesome moment! The females of this species are wingless and sculp low down at the base of tree trunks within the crevices and fissures of the bark. A quite contrasting species was found in comparison to the Geometridae species, this was the Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) in the sub Family Cuculliinae. Some individuals of this species hibernate during the colder months, this moth had orange reniform or kidney spot though other individuals can have white spots. The E. transversa adult stage are specifically attracted by sugar but have carnivorous tendencies. No moths where caught in the trap, instead we had to search for them with great success.

Dotted Border copulating
Male and Female Dotted Border
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