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13 June 2012

13 Jun 2012 – Shall we dance?

Silver-ground Carpet Moth

I was eager to look through the trap this morning as it was the first sunny day that we trapped in the quarry. Despite the weather, there were not many moths awaiting us. I was delighted, however, to find my first Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli). Its Latin name is almost identical to that of the Common Swift: Hepialus –a fever- which describes its fitful flight and humuli –the hop genus, mistakenly thought to be the food of its larvae. 

Female Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli)

This moth can be tricky to identify because the male and female species are not identical; the male is white and the female is tan with orange designs on its side. As you can see from the photograph, ours is female. Ghost Moths are known to do a sort of dance as they fly by rising and descending through the air, but I’ve never seen this myself.  Perhaps she will dance for us tonight.

We also found a beautiful sand-colored carpet moth in perfect condition, but I’m waiting for Dr. Chesmore to confirm exactly what species. Take a look at the photograph to see if you know which it could be*. We also await confirmation for what I believe to be a Reddish Light Arches (Apamea sublustris)**. Otherwise, we found two Green Carpet moths, a Poplar Hawk, a few White Ermines, and a Flame Shoulder.

Please take note: If you enjoy our blog or are interested in moth trapping, don’t miss out on an opportunity to meet other moth enthusiasts in the area at our National Gardens Scheme event this Friday evening. Details can be found by following this link to our website. I hope to see you there!

*This has since been identified as a Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata).

**This has since been identified as the Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata).

Post by Helen Levins