26 October 2011
26 October 2011 – The Chestnut
|The Chestnut (Conistra vacinii)|
The lightning and the downpour prevented a trap last night, just when it seemed the weather was favourable. It’s getting late in the year now but maybe it is still worth a chance this weekend. The last posting mentioned that there were two other moths in the trap – both similar but not straightforward to identify. Dave Chesmore confirmed that the moth was The Chestnut (Conistra vacinii). The Latin name: Conistra – a place covered in dust and vacinii – the bilberry, a possible food plant. So, it’s another new species for Shandy Hall and an appropriate time for a Chestnut to drop in. Why ‘The’ Chestnut and not Chestnut? There is The Lappet, The Drinker, The Mocha, The Vestal – but Drab, Old Lady and Sorcerer, all without the definite article. And why not Chestnut Moth like the Parsnip Moth, Turnip Moth or Ghost Moth?
Between September and May is when the Chestnut flies and feeds at ivy flowers which have also been attracting the few remaining Red Admirals – the crab apples, their earlier passion, having long disappeared from the lawn.