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30 July 2012

29 July 2012 – The Waxing Moon

Phoenix (Eulithis prunata)

The moon waxes and the night temperature was low so the number of moths was down – but under the last egg-carton, in the bottom of the trap, was today’s new species (225) – the Phoenix (Eulithis prunata).

A moth of goodly stone (Eulithis – like the Barred Straw) and connected to the plum genus (prunata) despite the fact that the larva feeds (and overwinters as an egg) on black and red currant bushes.  Where does the Phoenix come from?  The idea of change from larva to pupa in the moth-cycle might promote the idea of ‘rebirth’ but why apply it to this particular moth?  What ashes have caused it to be raised from the dead? The uplifted abdomen (similar to the Scorched Tip) is clearly apparent and the markings are bright and well defined. 

Phoenix (Eulithis prunata) side detail

We have trapped, on average, a couple of Poplar Hawk-moths every night over the last month so that species seems plentiful.  The Yellow Underwing, Burnished Brass, Green Carpet and Footman are regular and numerous as well.  Helen Levins has finished her UK assignment at Shandy Hall.  We are sorry to see her go. Thank you, Helen and thank you to the University of Pennsylvania.