14 July 2013
13 July 2013 – Very Happy Micro-moths.
A glint of orange-red before I sweep in with a collecting tube and scoop this micro-moth up. The Lathronympha strigana is perhaps one of my favorite catches so far. It a good specimen, and though it is not very noticeable in the picture, it has small silvery streaks near the back of the wing that give it a sparkling shine. It feeds on St. John’s-wort, which grows around some of the buildings at Shandy Hall. The plant has a small but lovely yellow bloom and is commonly used as an herbal remedy for depression. That must make for some delightfully happy micro-moths. There are two derivations of the Greek genus name. Lathronymphos ‘secretly married’ makes little sense to me. Lathre ‘secretly’ and nymphe ‘a nymph,’ as in an immature stage of an insect’s life, makes somewhat more sense as the larva feeds in a tightly spun cocoon. Striga ‘a swath, a furrow, a band’ could either describe the lovely silvery streaks or the black dashes on the forewing. The Lathronympha strigana makes the 278th moth species found at Shandy Hall!
– Post by Jane Wu