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7 October 2013

6 October 2013 – Flame-keeper

Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria)

Linnaeus thought priestesses wore saffron robes; or perhaps the simple and beautiful rose-coloured (rhodon) pattern suggested to him that this moth was the embodiment of chastity.  Either way this elegant moth is an unusual visitor to this part of North Yorkshire and new to the garden.  The colouring varies considerably – some adults are bright pink – and the variation is caused by the temperatures experienced by the pupae.  The higher the temperature the more lemon the wings and rosier the pattern – the lower the temperature and the ground colour changes to straw yellow and the cross-band is brown.  It is an immigrant and cannot overwinter, so I hope it enjoys the last few warm days of the year.

November Moth (Epirrita dilutata)

November Moth – or not?  It could be a Pale November Moth or an Autumnal Moth or even a Small Autumnal Moth (unlikely).  There were eight in the trap this morning and this was the one with the brightest markings – and the clearest V mark in the centre of the forewing.  We had recorded the moth last year but hadn’t posted an image so here is one of the members of that four-strong Epirrita family.  The Latin means ‘to flow’ or ‘to stream onwards’ from the Greek epirrheo and dilutata refers to the washed out colour of the forewings.