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21 June 2012

21 June 2012 – A Wet Welcome

Green Arches (Anaplectoides prasina)

We welcome another new moth today, putting us at 189 identified species! I almost overlooked it because its shape and patterns seemed familiar. But thanks to Dr. Chesmore, it has been confirmed as the Green Arches (Anaplectoides prasina). Anaplectoides has a complicated meaning that has evolved from the moth’s relation to the Aplectoides, a North American breed. The word plektos (folded) is given because at rest, one wing is slightly folded over the other. Prasina(leek-green) describes the color of its forewings, at least until the sun fades them.

We had some other visitors who’ve been to Shandy Hall before, but are still beautiful and uncommon. Amongst these was the Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) which caused quite a stir as I tried to position it for the camera. Its name is remarkably fitting for its appearance: Diachrysia means ‘interwoven with gold’ and chrysitis means ‘like gold’. While this may seem redundant, the name is fitting because its eye-catching metallic wings often warrant a double take.

Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)

The Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata) was much more cooperative. It held still with its Dalmatian-spotted wings fanned out, revealing the sunshine yellow details of its body. This summery species was likely attracted to the nettles and apple-trees in our gardens. Accordingly, it gets the name hortulata, meaning garden or orchard. Eurrhypara seems less valid: eumeans ‘well’ and rhuparos means ‘greasy’. Feel free to disagree, but the Small Magpie to the left doesn’t look very greasy to me.

Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata)

The Lime Hawk-moth (Mimas tiliae) also graced us with its presence. Although it has been here in the past, I couldn’t help myself from taking its photograph. In fact, the moth itself must know how beautiful it is… you can see how it faces its own reflection in the wall of the trap!

Lime Hawk-moth (Mimas tiliae)

As usual, we had an abundance of Carpets, Ermines, Common Swifts, Beautiful Golden Y’s, and a few Heart and Darts. Hopefully the stormy weather breaks tonight so that our streak can continue.

Important! Moth Night 2012 is this weekend. The organizers (Atropos, Butterfly Conservation, and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) are asking moth trappers across the nation to report on the contents of their traps for at least one night of this weekend. It will vastly improve their database, which is so useful for all of us moth enthusiasts. More information can be found here.

Post by Helen Levins