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23 September 2012

20 September 2012 – The Black Moth

Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra)

This dark, glossy beauty was nearly missed on Wednesday night.  The black plastic of the trap was the perfect background for a stealthy hiding place.  The antennae of the male and female are not feathered – but the hindwings of the male are a pale colour. I didn’t learn this until after the moth was released. Only time for one photograph before it disappeared into the night.  Aporophyla nigra refers to the problems that were faced when trying to classify this ‘black (nigra), troublesome (aporos) tribe (phule)’.  The kidney marks on the wings are outlined in white. The blackness is almost impenetrable.

Large Wainscot (Rhizedra lutosa)

The Large Wainscot is a bit of surprise as its presence would seem to require reed-beds or at least a damp habitat as the larvae feed on the roots of common reed (Phragmites australis).  Perhaps the pond has attracted it? More likely the fact that as the whole of North Yorkshire is sodden it has resulted in the entire county becoming its pleasure garden.  The Latin name refers to the muddy (lutosus) roots (rhiza) that become the larva’s home.

Two more species take the total to 245.