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2 October 2014

2 October 2014 – Mystery Moth & National Poetry Day

Pinion-streaked Snout (Schrankia costaestrigalis)

A mystery moth both scarce and local.  What is the mystery?  No-one knows anything about the life-cycle of the Pinion-streaked Snout.  It is seen near fens and marshy meadows, perhaps often overlooked, and has only been recorded in the adult (imago) state in the wild. The larvae have been reared in captivity and have grown to maturity feeding on lettuce, but what constitutes the normal food-plant is yet to be determined.  This small moth was very active (the photograph had to be taken while it rested in the plastic tube) and after ensuring the image was good enough, I had to release it before it damaged itself.   

Releasing moths is one of the pleasures of moth-trapping.  When the fastening on the cage is unhooked after dark, the entrapped moths can be seen at their most dynamic and purposeful.  Their antennae are cocked and almost bristling with the information they are taking in.  The movement  required to take them to a good launch position is direct and unhesitating.  The take-off flight is fast and invariably upward into the dark sky.  A sense of complete liberation.

Scorched Wing 

Awoken too soon to a flame that drew him closehere lies Icarus

A moth haiku by Maura Dooley for National Poetry Day