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31 August 2014

31 August 2014 – Woven Carpets

Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta)

The Shuttle-shaped Dart has been seen in York Museum Gardens over most of the summer, but hardly at all in Coxwold.  This is a particularly bright example showing the pointed-ends to the pale oval marking that has been interpreted as a shuttle – the weaving kind.  The meaning of the scientific name is open to interpretation: agrotis – from the Greek for ‘of the field’, or ‘a countryman’; the second part of the binomial is puta which has a variety of possible derivations: 1. Puta – the goddess who oversees the pruning of trees; 2. pure; 3. from puto – to think; or perhaps from puteus meaning a well.  (There is another meaning in Spanish.)  Take your pick.

Our countryman is found in a plastic palace amidst Autumn crocuses until its release this evening. 

Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)

The other already recorded moth (but not photographed before) is the Flame Carpet.  This moth wouldn’t stay still for a moment so had to be snapped in a collecting tube.  The Latin name can be interpreted as ‘clearly defined yellow stream’ – which doesn’t really apply to the Flame Carpet.