Thursday, 24 June 2010
Time to make amends, a little, for my lamentations about 'small, brown moths' here in Britain compared with the treasures discovered by Tom, Abi and Rosie in Central America. It's not all dull here. This morning, in a moth trap busy with two hawk moths (Poplar and Lime) and a rich variety of Waves, Carpets and some 50 other arrivals, there were these two examples of bejewelled insects. The Burnished Brass, above, is perhaps the best of British moths for metallic sheen, created by the reflection (and, I think, refraction) of light from the wing scales. The Beautiful Golden (or possibly Silver, sorry if so - no it is Beautiful Golden, see Dean's helpful Comment) Y, left, is another example. I hope to get a visit this year, as previously, from the even finer Gold Spangle, which has a larger shiny flash on its wings, like the sort of thing General McChrystal might wear when he puts on his best uniform to meet French ministers etc.
For a different, pallidly delicate form of beauty, here (below) is the Clouded Silver which also dropped in last night. It is another success story in the UK, having "increased dramatically" in Yorkshire since the 1970s according to Messrs Waring, Townsend and Lewington, authors of my ever-indispensable Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland (British Wildlife Publishing).