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28 July 2013

28 July 2013 – 300 Moths for Laurence Sterne!

We have our 300th moth species at Shandy Hall! And during the tercentenary year of Laurence Sterne’s birth! For anyone who doesn’t know, we are celebrating this 300th anniversary with the Good Humour Club exhibition at Shandy Hall until the end of September. And now we have 300 moth varieties to celebrate as well! Patrick has been completely ecstatic leading up to this for at least the past week!

The V-Pug (Chloroclystis v-ata)

The 299th species that we’ve found is the V-Pug (Chloroclystis v-ata). Like the Green Pug, it has a green color to its wings. The four green-colored pug varieties were once all classified under the genus Chloroclystis, for their shared leafy-colored coat that faded away quite quickly. However, after reclassification, only the lonely V-Pug is left in this genus. While the V-Pug is the only pug that holds its wings in its characteristic “V”-formation, this posture is not what it is named for. It actually has its name because of the black “V” marks on the forewing. While not easily photographed, this moth was quite content to sit wherever I put it. We set it on an egg carton, a leaf, my finger, and a stone wall before it flew off to somewhere safe.

Beautiful Hook-tip (Laspeyria flexula)

Finally, we have our 300th Shandy Hall moth, the Beautiful Hook-tip (Laspeyria flexula). This is a scarce moth that has, according to Dr. Chesmore, been recorded in larger numbers than usual this summer. Upon observation of the wings you can easily tell where it gets the name “Beautiful Hook-tip” from. It must have been a bit shy though because when I tried to show it to Patrick, it flew away in a hurry. Laspeyria was named after the then-recently deceased German entomologist and lepidopterologist Jakob Heinrich Laspeyres. Flexus ‘bent’ is a reference to the curved part of the wing that makes the hook in the “Hook-tip.”

– Post by Jane Wu