Friday, 17 July 2015
How the leopard got its spots
You may remember, O best beloved, the story by Rudyard Kipling about the leopard's spots. Well exactly the same principle - of the value of camouflage in the speckled and flecked light of woodland - applies to this beautiful creature, the Leopard Moth.
The insect goes a step further than the mammal, too. As well as the marvellously dotted pattern, the moth is equipped with wings which become almost translucent towards their tips, allowing the greenery of plants on which it rests to show through.
This was the case with my Leopard which I found - top pic - when zealously checking the greenery aroung the trap before actually lifting the lid and examining the eggboxes. The Leopard was chosen last year as the cover girl, or boy, for the website of Upper Thames Moths. Although it has been replaced for 2015 by a Lobster Moth, it is a very distinguished visitor.