Saturday, 12 April 2014
If you can imagine a country which would seem like Lilliput to Jonathan Swift's Lilliputians, then in that country this tiny moth might be the size of a V-bomber. I'm very bad at remembering to include a scale but maybe the fact that the dotted background is an ordinary bedsheet gives you some idea of how tiddly this visitor is.
As a result, I assumed it was one of the smallish number of V-shaped micro-moths mostly concentrated in a family with the name of Crambidae. But one of my wise fellow-contributors to the Upper Thames Moths blog, Marc Botham, has kindly put me right. It's that very interesting creature, the 20-plume moth.
My picture shows it in its unrevealing resting position. When it takes flight, its plumes unfold like Venetian blinds - a process which it is beyond my limited skills to capture in a picture, so many thanks to www.animalphotos.me for the second one in this post. It actually has 24 plumes if you count all four wings, though the six-a-side on the hindwings are definitely more plumey. Still, what's four between mathematical friends?
If you're near Woodstock, Oxon, tomorrow btw, come and see the Passion Play. Be careful of one of the stroppy priests though...