6 November 2012
5 November 2012 – A month early…
|December Moth (Poecilocampa populi)|
The frost was thick this morning and the chances of finding anything in the trap seemed remote. On first inspection there was nothing but then, on the white sheet that the trap is placed upon, two mothy shapes could be seen. Both looked the same species but one not seen at Shandy Hall before. They were cupped in my hands and placed carefully in the trap. What form of anti-freeze was keeping them alive? When the egg-cartons were removed from inside the trap another similar moth was found – this one with clearly defined feathered antennae (see above) – the one in the photograph below looks quite bedraggled in comparison. However, considering the fall in temperature it was exposed to last night, it had done well. They were all December Moths (Poecilocampa populi) and their Latin name comes from the Greek meaning ‘varied larva that lives on poplar’ – apparently the caterpillar appears in a number of different patterns. So here, a month early, is a new species.