Home > Moths > 19 September 2012 – Beneath the Silvery Moon

20 September 2012

19 September 2012 – Beneath the Silvery Moon

Lunar Underwing (Omphaloscelis lunosa)


With its pattern of raised bands looking as tight as guitar strings, and the diagnostic stain (omphalos) or spot on the forewing, the Lunar Underwing makes its first recorded appearance in the garden.  Its defence mechanism is to appear emphatically dead – so apparently lifeless it could be gently rolled out of the egg carton and onto a woven surface without moving at all.  Then a sudden crawl of a couple of steps before it settled again.  It is marked very distinctly but appears in a variety of colours – sufficiently variable to throw me off the track until it was confirmed by Dr. Chesmore.

Species number 243.

Brindled Green (Dryobotodes eremita)

The Brindled Green appeared last year but wasn’t photographed.  I didn’t find this easy to identify either – the pinkish tones are quite prominent in this example but not as clearly present in the guides or online.  Hermit (eremita) feeding on oak (Greek : drus).  The larva lives in a spun cell in amongst the oak leaves.

Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)

The third image is of the spectacular Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa).  This moth is just like an airborne leaf and comes with an interesting Latin name. Meticulosus means ‘fearful’ – in both senses of the word – I am fearful of a fearful monster.  One meaning refers to the way the moth quivers (as if with rage) before taking flight and the other from the way the moth holds its wings in repose, as if shrinking in the face of danger. Phlogophora means a flame carrier.   This moth is a dynamic combination of bravery and fear.  It is supposed to fly between May and October but it seems to occur only towards Autumn at Shandy Hall.

The caterpillars (see last post) now have a clearly marked golden stripe running the length of their bodies and what looks like a spur or tuft on their backs.  Not all have managed to make it through to the second instar but those that have are munching …