20 June 2014
20 June 2014 – Captain Cook Connection
The latest discovery in the garden is Lozotaenia forsterana or Large Ivy Tortrix or (according to Westwood & Humphreys [illustration below]) Forsters. The name ‘Forsters’ comes from the Polish naturalist J.R. Forster (1729-98), participant on one of Capt. Cook’s voyages. However, this moth is less exotic and eye-catching when compared to the best of the Pacific fauna Forster might have seen. It is a micro-moth that is brown through and through, though there is a delicate lattice on the surface of the wings. It is distinguished by the oblique (loxos) bands (tainia) on the forewings and a heart-shaped marking is prominently displayed at the center of its folded wings.
Like other tortrixes, the wings of Lozotaenia forsterana form a bulging bell shape when folded together, like the shell of a tortoise. This humble, earth coloured moth feeds on the high-flying ivy climbing the walls and trees providing a beautiful contrast.
A new species to the garden: number 340. Let’s hope for more with Moth Night at Shandy Hall (National Garden Scheme) tonight.
Post by Bowen Chang