Home > Moths > 3 July 2014 – Little Slender

3 July 2014

3 July 2014 – Little Slender

(Calybites phasianipennella)

Calybites phasianipennella

is a very small moth; a very little, slender moth, which (if the scientific name is anything to go by) lives in a hut and looks like a pheasant.  The cone of silk the caterpillar spins for its protection refers to the ‘hut’ (like a yurt, perhaps?), but the pheasant connection is rather more difficult to understand.  Those outrageous roadside sentinels are blazing with purples and reds at the moment, but Calybites’ colouring looks quite discreet. 

Little Slender (for that is its colloquial name), was one of three micro moths trapped in the gardens at the Yorkshire Museum last night and those members of the public who stopped, on their way to work, to look at the ‘catch’ found it difficult to believe that something so small, that could barely be seen, could indeed be a moth.  Here it is under a macro lens.  It is not glimpsed very often as it spends up to nine months hibernating or overwintering.  The antennae wave almost constantly, sensing and investigating the air.

(Crambus perlella) 

Another micro from the YO1 area last night was a Crambus perlella – the Yellow Satin Veneer – here shown in a collecting tube and looking every bit as terrifying as Hirst’s shark.

The scientific name means ‘dry’ or ‘withered pearl’.  The moth can be found on grassland, gardens and heathland and is quite common.  

We are still trying to identify the third micro and will post when we find out.