15 October 2015
15 October 2015 – Suffolk Trapping
|Feathered Ranunculus (Polimixis lichenae)|
Sunday night was spent in Suffolk, just down the road from Lavenham, in the village of Monks Eleigh. The weather forecast made no promises and even though the afternoon was warm, after a spectacular sunset, the evening turned chilly. The trap was set close to a stand of bamboo next to a river with hundreds of willow trees on the opposite bank. A check was made at midnight but the only sign of life was a small group of caddis flies using the rain-shield as a ballroom floor.
The morning brought good fortune and the sight of a Merveille du Jour in the grass a few yards from the light made the journey from the north worthwhile. Some moths never quite make it to the light-trap and the M du Jour is one of those that can often be found on the sheet or just close by.
The next moth to be seen was very prettily painted. The Feathered Ranunculus (Polimixis lichenae) was quite active as it was being photographed, making little darting runs rather like the Mouse Moth. The scientific name refers to the mixture of colouring on the wings (mixis) and polus meaning ‘much’; another interpretation could be that the moth is promiscuous (polumix) but this seems unlikely. This moth has not been seen at Shandy Hall but it can occasionally be seen in North Yorkshire.
|Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra)|
The Black Rustic has a powerful presence with its inky colouring and little white squints of kidney marks with just a hint of orange mixed in. The moth feeds on heathers and clovers and can be found over most of the country – but only during September and October.
|Red Underwing (Catocala nupta)|
The Red Underwing is always worth seeing. Two were found on this Monday morning, one very active and restless and the other much more restrained. It is a big moth and can be found near willow, aspen and poplar and especially on riverbanks. The trap had been placed in the perfect location. The moth that was released flew high into the air and found a resting place at the top of a tall willow leaving a flash of red and white in the morning light.
|Merveille du Jour (Griposia aprilina)|
Here is that special moth, the Merveille du Jour. Even photographed with an egg-box as a background it transcends its location and almost pulses with colour.
Another trap was set on the same night – in Wormingford. As soon as a couple of moths have been passed before the eyes of the experts a full list will be posted on the next blog.