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26 July 2012

26 July 2012 – Record Numbers

Barred Red (Hylaea fasciaria) 

We have six new species today and an incredible variety of other moths I have never seen before. What a wonderful last day at Shandy Hall! Current count: 224.

The Barred Red (Hylaea fasciaria) was Patrick’s favorite today and it’s easy to see why (see top photograph). Doesn’t the red fade so beautifully into the pink crossband? Hulajos means ‘belonging to the wood’ because of its habitat where the larvae eat coniferous trees. We are actually confused as to how it arrived here, because we don’t have any such trees at Shandy Hall. Fascia means ‘a band’, which appropriately draws attention to its lovely crossed wings.

Tawny-barred Angle (Macaria liturata)

The Tawny-barred Angle (Macaria liturata) was difficult to identify because it had its wings pushed together rather than spread out in its usual rest position. Macaria is a synonym forSemiothisa; semeion means ‘a mark’ and othizo is ‘to thrust’ or ‘to struggle’ because the various crossbands on the wings seem to compete for dominance. Liturata is a blot or a smear, also due to the appearance of the markings on the wings.

Udea lutealis

The Udea lutealis is a beautiful moth, I seem to enjoy the Udea genus most of all. They look so delicate and their markings look so deliberate, like ancient characters applied with brush strokes. Udea means ‘surface of the earth’ because they feed on low-lying plants; lutealis describes its wings andmeans ‘clay-colored.’

Acleris forsskaleana

I enjoyed photographing the psychedelic patterns of the Acleris forsskaleana; it looks properly outfitted to attend a 1970’s house party… or at least inspire the wallpaper. Acleris (unallotted) was a conveniently created genus for species that didn’t fit in elsewhere. Forsskaleana is much more significant: it is the name of Forsskahl, a Swedish pupil of Linnaeus. He was responsible for naming the Death’s-head Hawk-moth, a species with relevance to Tristram Shandy, a species that helped inspire this blog! (See our archived post for more specific information.)

Elachista argentella

Next came the Elachista argentella (small piece of silver). I barely noticed it because its size and color forced it to blend into its midge-covered egg box.

Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (Archips podana)

The Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (Archips podana) cast a brilliant mahogany glow when it caught the sunlight. Archips (chief of the bud-eating worms) classifies it as a fruit-tree pest, but we are still happy to have it. Podana comes from N. Poda von Neuhaus, a Professor of Physics and an entymologist… that sounds just like our friend Dr. Chesmore at York University!

The following species have been recorded at Shandy Hall in the past. However, they are so unique-looking that I couldn’t resist adding their photographs to the blog. Take a look:

{Since this post we have discovered an error.  The moth in the centre (now labelled correctly as a Small Blood-vein) was posted incorrectly as a Riband Wave.  See blog for 14 July 2015}

Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata)
Small Blood Vein (Scopula imitaria)
True Lover’s Knot (Lycophotia porphyrea)

-Post by Helen Levins