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7 June 2018

7 June 2018 – First Catch

Blood-vein (Timamdra comai)

My first morning examining the moth trap I learned that long, unruly hair and micro moths do not mix well. After tying up my hair, the second thing I learned was that there were many more moths in the trap than I had imagined there would be – even after researching what to expect the night before. While none of the moths were new to the garden, they were all new to me, and the following are a few of my favorites.

The first moths to catch my eye were the Poplar Hawk Moths, because of their sheer enormity in comparison to the rest of the brood. They have been featured on this blog before, so I won’t touch upon them now. The second moth that caught my gaze, however, was a lone Blood-vein (Timandra comai). This moth is stunning with silvery white wings, a red gash stretching across them, and a pink trim; all of which works together to give this delicate moth the appearance of being bloodshot. 

Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)

Another favorite from this first catch was the Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina), as well as its relative the Silver Y (Autographa gamma). To me, these moths have the disposition of some old and alien creature, forgotten by both nature and time. 

Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata)

There were two Small Magpies (Eurrhypara hortula) in the trap as well. The Small Magpie is a very fashionable micro moth, with statement black-on-white detailing and slight pop of color. The scientific name refers to the sheen (rhupara meaning ‘greasy’) on the wings  and the food plant is the nettle in apple orchards (hortulus).  Any moth that lives on nettles should be praised. 

The rest of the catch consisted of too many Buff Ermines to count, as well as some White Ermines, Common Swifts, Green Carpets, a Burnished Brass and a Brimstone. What an exciting thing, to suddenly be able to know and distinguish the often overlooked inhabitants of the world around us! Looking forward to getting to know more. 

Post by: Gabriella Morace (UPenn intern)