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19 June 2012

19 June 2012 – One with the Wood

Swallow Prominent, Pheosia tremula

This morning we had the Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula) resting on the frame of the screened cage. The color and pattern of its wings let it blend right into the wood. Pheosia, a prickly plant or spine, refers to these patterned lines running down its wings. Tremula means shaking or trembling and apparently describes the movement of the moth and its larva, although our Swallow Prominent was sound asleep in my presence so I can’t state whether I agree. If I had any say in it, I would insist that this moth be named for its vivid colors and symmetry that practically epitomize aesthetic beauty.

In other exciting news, we’ve gotten feedback on yesterday’s moths and we had in fact found another new species! The sandy-colored angular moth in the post is a Micro-moth, the Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis). Evergestis (well-wrought garment) describes the elaborate markings on the wings.  Forficalis, or scissors, is in reference to its angular posture.

Today’s unidentified Wainscot, also blending into the wood*

Other moths that were confirmed from the weekend were a Small Angle Shades, a Middle-Barred Minor, and a Mottled Pug. I must also note, that today we also found a type of Wainscot, a Heart and Dart, White and Buff Ermines, a Beautiful Golden Y, another Notocelia Cynosbatella, and two common-looking species yet to be determined.

Because of the recent Micro-moths discoveries, we ordered a field guide of the Micro-moths. So far it has proved quite helpful, so we thought we’d share our source: It’s the Sterling, Parsons & Lewington Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland. And just a heads up, British Wildlife is currently selling it at a reduced price.

Post by Helen Levins

*Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Mythimna comma) – Jane Wu