17 June 2014
17 June 2014 – King and Beggar
The new addition to Shandy Hall moths came to us in the most inconspicuous way.
A Purple Clay (Diarsia brunnea) was found crouching in the cell of an egg-box this morning. The second part of its scientific name brunnea (brown, earth-colored) correlates to ‘clay’. As its name suggests the moth is rather unassuming in appearance. The colors of its wings are dark and indistinct, possessing neither the elegant, high-contrast patterns of the Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata), nor the playful colours of the Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) – both species found in the trap as well.
However, when I observed it more closely, in the light, I noticed its concealed beauty. It’s wings showed a glimmer of purple, the furry surface suddenly looked like fine velvet. It reminded me of the luxurious robes of royalties of the past; purple, after all, is a regal color.
|Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica)|
As the Purple Clay’s kinsman, an Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica) was also recorded and photographed for the first time, albeit having been previously identified. It had a pair of light-brown wings carrying characteristic black markings. On the whole the Ingrailed Clay appeared more ordinary. To complete the hierarchy of the moth world, the mendica (a beggar with a drab appearance) seemed to fall somewhat below its royal kinsman.
The Purple Clay brings Shandy Hall moth number: 339.
Illustrations of: Purple Clay (above) and Ingrailed Clay (below)
Post by Bowen Chang