Home > Moths > 28 June 2012 – No blood spilt at Shandy Hall

28 June 2012

28 June 2012 – No blood spilt at Shandy Hall

Blood-vein, Timandra comae

We might have had some new species today but these particular micromoths cannot be identified by their photographs alone. Some species need to have their genitalia dissected in order to truly be identified. Dr. Chesmore would need the actual specimens and we had already released them. It is just as well because we’ve made a promise not to harm the moths for this blog.

Luckily, some of the most attention-catching moths were new to me. The Blood-vein (Timandra comae) was so flighty that I could only photograph it inside a container.  However, the moth’s diagnostic details still showed through, giving the appearance of pink ink streaked across a sheet of papyrus. Its name, Timandra, comes from the Greek mythological character, daughter of Tyndareus and Leda. She and her two beautiful sisters, Helen and Clytemnestra, were all unfaithful to their husbands. The reason for comae is unclear but perhaps coma means the terminal tufts of hair on plant seeds.

The Snout, Hypena proboscidalis

The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) also grabbed my attention. Its triangular shape, bulging eyes and snout are hard to miss. Hypena(moustache or beard) and proboscidalis (an elephant’s trunk) make playful references to its labial palpus. Poor thing, its nose has been mocked since its very discovery!

Ingrailed Clay, Diarsia mendica

Finally, the Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica) slept soundly as I examined its brilliant, unusual color.  The origin of its name is unclear. Diarsia means ‘a raising up,’ but it is unclear where this came from. Mendica means ‘a beggar’ or ‘an indigent.’ It was suggested that this could come from its drab appearance, but that would be unlikely as the Ingrailed Clay is one of the prettiest of the species within its family.

Post by Helen Levins