Home > Moths > 8 January 2015 – New for Yorkshire Region – and Billy Collins Haiku

8 January 2015

8 January 2015 – New for Yorkshire Region – and Billy Collins Haiku

(Calybites phasianipennella)

This slight and highly decorative insect flew into the trap in the Museum Gardens in York last July where it was identified as (Calybites phasianipennella) and posted on the blog.  What we didn’t know was that it hadn’t been recorded in this neck of the woods before.  For statistical purposes, Yorkshire is divided into five separate areas VC61-VC65 and the Museum Gardens is in VC62.  Had I been recording the species directly into the database (MapMate) rather than using a written list, the fact that Calybites was new to that region would have been immediately apparent. (I had been putting off using MapMate as it is anything but simple.)  Thanks to Charlie Fletcher’s end-of-the-year checking of the species lists that had been submitted, followed by searching questions and requesting photographic evidence, we discovered, just this week, that Calybites was a first.

An excellent start to the year.

Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)

Posting the news of Calybites gives the opportunity to introduce the idea of observing moths in a slightly different way.  To give each species of moth its correct common and scientific name is not an easy thing to do and requires close observation.  Some species are straightforward and cannot really be incorrectly identified (Ghost Moth, Scarce Silver-lines, Poplar Hawk-moth, for example) while others are extremely variable.  Arriving in the trap cloaked in different shades of brown or sometimes losing or gaining patterns and markings, the amateur has to rely on the knowledge of the experienced moth-trapper.  My referees are Dave Chesmore and Charlie Fletcher and were it not for their help the list of 360 species at Shandy Hall would be far from accurate.

However, show a moth to a writer of haiku (that precise and condensed form of poetic expression) and other possibilities arise.

The haiku below (written for the Marbled Beauty moth above) is by Billy Collins (American Poet Laureate 2001-2003) and is one of a number written specially for a project with The Laurence Sterne Trust.

Marbled Beauty

In your grey and white

wings, is there one face

or one for every viewer?