Home > Moths > 21 May 2019 – Blondin of the Bushes

21 May 2019

21 May 2019 – Blondin of the Bushes

(Nematopogon swammerdamella)

Pure chance that I happened on this moth at 6.30pm as it rested on Hydrangea petiolaris – a climbing hydrangea that originates in Japan.  The little moth has spectacular antennae and they seem to act like a tight-rope walker’s balancing pole as the insect clambers among the unopened flower heads.  There has been only one other of this species recorded at Shandy Hall and that was when Helen Levins was here as an intern in 2012.  The scientific name makes reference to nema (thread) and pogon (beard); Swammerdam was a Dutch entomologist.

Not a new moth for the gardens but a delicate, complex little piece of the environment that although not uncommon throughout the county, will not be seen very often.

When I sent the image to have it verified by Dr Fletcher he asked about the moth’s size.  If the antennae and body length could be recorded then it might not be swammerdamella but the somewhat scarcer N schwarziellus.  

I could only guess the measurements but decided that if the moth decided to take to the air at a similar time to last night, I would try to get an accurate recording.

The result (below) has been forwarded for scrutiny.  Two squares = 1cm.

Longhorn measurements