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Shandy Hall Moths

Poplar Hawkmoth

13 September 2023

25 July 2023 – Collective Noun for Hawkmoths

Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) The initially inconspicuous Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) has unexpectedly become one of my favorite moths, on account of their grace, beauty, and seemingly humble personality. I often find them perched vertically on the walls of the cottage, clinging on to the curtains, or, as in this case, blending into the pattern […]

moth intern

15 August 2023

MOTH LIST to August 2023 with links

A list of moths found at Shandy Hall to August 2023 can be found here, and each name links to our posts about each moth. Our thanks to Autumn Cortright, our 2023 intern from UPenn, for helping to prepare this list. If you want to search for a particular moth, you can also use the […]

Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa)

11 August 2023

28 July 2023 – TRIPLE New Species Alert!

Among the hundreds of moths in the trap this morning, we found a tiny Acleris holmiana, a rosy Endotricha flammealis, and a pearly Anania lancealis. Acleris holmiana, sometimes called White-triangle Button or Golden Leaf-roller, is a micro-moth from the Tortricidae family. It might have gone undetected in the Shandy Hall gardens for so long because […]

Golden Plusia moth

25 July 2023

18 July 2023 – A Golden…Plusia! 

I’ve got a Golden… Plusia! Shandy Hall has been graced by a new species! The Golden Plusia (Polychrysia moneta) is a macromoth belonging to the Noctuidae family and the Plusiinae subfamily. Though this invasive moth had colonized most of England by the late 19th century, its numbers have dwindled in the north since the 1950s. […]

Spectacle caterpillar

25 July 2023

13 July 2023 – Arts and Sciences 

The trap this morning was predominantly ‘Common’, with 57 Common Rustics and 28 Common Footmans making an appearance.The Heart and Darts were as populous as usual, numbering 28 as well (although they seem to be getting significantly more worn and lethargic).The Large Yellow Underwings’ reign of terror continues. With every egg carton I removed from […]

Large Yellow Underwing moth

16 July 2023

10 July 2023 – Rise of the Yellow Underwings

There was a time, earlier in the year, when the appearance of a Yellow Underwing in the trap was scarce, but no longer. Now the various Yellow Underwings have made their presence ubiquitous: They seem to be always lurking in the deepest recesses of the trap’s egg cartons, hidden in the bark of a rotting […]

Grey or Dark Dagger moth

13 July 2023

4 July 2023 – Cold-weather Catch 

The moths in the trap this morning were of a rather homogenous variety. Because the weather has been unusually windy and cold, only the toughest moths dare to fly. Dark Arches, Heart-and-Darts, various Wainscots and a few Poplar Hawk-moths were the most common by far. There were hardly any micro-moths at all: Only a few […]

Mother of Pearl moth

4 July 2023

4 July 2023 – Mother of Pearl, an Inspiration to Science

Mother of Pearl (Patania ruralis) was another catch I’ve been waiting to see. This was a particularly beautiful and well-marked specimen: the photograph can’t do justice to the iridescence of its wings. The Mother of Pearl’s beauty is such that it almost appears as a tiny, nocturnal fairy: glinting in the moonlight, its flight pattern […]

Hedya ochroleucana

3 July 2023

28 June 2023 – Buff-tipped Marble

After an unseasonably chilly start to the summer, moths are finally starting to return to the trap at Shandy Hall in larger numbers. The Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor) is a more recent visitor, with the flight season just beginning: We only caught one (the first of the summer) in the previous trap, but this morning […]

Cinnabar moth

3 July 2023

23 June 2023 – Moth or Butterfly?

A Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) paid us a rare visit this morning! Although they do fly after dark, these moths also tend to fly in the day, even in the sunshine and are often mistaken for butterflies. It’s just as well to a hungry predator, because like many similarly-colored butterflies, they are poisonous if ingested. Though […]

Light Emerald moth

26 June 2023

20 June 2023 – Bee, Straw, Emerald and a Ghost

The latest trap contained a bounty of moths that were new to me, and plenty of old friends as well. There were 28 species in total: some showed up in number, like the Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis) and the Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum) (each having 14 representatives in the trap) and some, like the lovely Light […]

Cochylimorpha straminea.jpg

20 June 2023

17 June 2023 – Old and New

The prehistoric-looking Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina) is a new catch for me. The golden yellow spots, combined with the purple and mauve wings, make for an exceedingly striking appearance. The tufted thorax gives an air of a tiny Stegosaurus, perched fearsomely upon a flower petal. This moth flies in June and early July, earlier […]

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