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Shandy Hall Moths

2 July 2021

2 July 2021 – The Prettiest Moth

Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata) This is possibly the prettiest moth I have seen in a long time and only the second to be seen at Shandy Hall.  One of the UPenn students recorded it in the moth trap a few years ago, but it wasn’t quite as fresh as this one which was newly minted.  […]

14 June 2021

12 June 2021 – Yorkshire Larvae Crawling Tonight

Mullein (Shargacucullia verbasci)   There are two Mulleins in the photograph, one is the caterpillar and the other is the plant.   The Mullein (insect) is not recorded as a Mullein Moth – like the Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli) or the Goat Moth (Cossus cossus) it is just Mullein; the food source is not described as […]

8 June 2021

6 June 2021 – A Show of Strength

Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata)  A member of the Drepanidae family of which there are nine species in the UK and eight of which are Hook-tips.  This ‘odd one out’ is unmistakeable; once it has been determined that it is a moth and not a bird-dropping.  When at rest the wings form a tent shape over […]

2 June 2021

1 June 2021 – One Extra Moth

Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) Since 8 November 2020 the Pale Tussock pupa has remained, apparently motionless, in a silken cocoon within a plastic container.  It was checked regularly to see if any changes might be visible but the metamorphosis that was taking place was hidden from view.   The cocoon had been spun by the caterpillar […]

29 May 2021

29 May 2021 – Mercury’s Staff

Scalloped Hazel (Odontopera bidentata)    Carl A Clerck (1710 – 1765) was a contemporary of Linnaeus and made a considerable contribution to  the world of entomology. The naming and classifictation of spiders was the main area of his attention and his name is attributed to the second part of the binomial of this rather handsome […]

25 May 2021

24 May 2021 – After Midnight

Poplar Hawkmoth (Laothoe populi)     ‘Unmistakable’ is the single word that (either) Paul Waring or Martin Townsend uses to describe the Poplar Hawkmoth (Laothoe populi) in the indispensable Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland (2003). Found all over the UK and on the wing (at Shandy Hall) from May through […]

16 May 2021

14 May 2021 – Little Hope

Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) Since the beginning of April the gardens at Shandy Hall have been victims of the weather.  Rain, hail, sleet, snow and very hard frosts have made attempts at moth trapping a thankless task. On the very few occasions the trap has been set, the result has been ‘nothing to record’.  Surely […]

8 November 2020

8 November 2020 – Suspended in Time

Pale Tussock Moth (Calliteara pudibunda) pupa       The Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar continued to consume bramble leaves and rose leaves throughout October. It then wrapped itself into the shell of a rose leaf and spun itself a shelter in the form of a silken cocoon.  It will overwinter in this form and is […]

19 October 2020

19 October 2020 – New Species for the Garden

Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) Perhaps Coxwold is a micro-climate.  Until yesterday there seems to have been a long succession of chilly days, damp days and general wetness (not forgetting wind), all of which are not good for moth-trapping.  The light will still attract the moths, for they continue to fly despite the winds and rain, […]

1 October 2020

1 October 2020 – Hop dog

Pale Tussock Moth (Calliteara pudibunda) (larva) Now here is a fistful of spikes.  This brightly coloured caterpillar was found in a cocoon of silken threads inside a rolled bramble (or blackberry) leaf.  Often this tactic leads on to pupation, but in this instance it was just a case of growing out of one skin and […]

16 September 2020

16 September 2020 – Frosted Orange

Frosted Orange (Gortyna flavago) Not a frequent visitor to the gardens but welcome when it does put in an appearance.¬† The first Frosted Orange was recorded on 1 October 2013 and a description of its habitat and why it carries the name of Gortyna flavago can be seen through this link¬† Beaded Chestnut (Agrochola lychnidis) […]

7 September 2020

7 September 2020 – Is this a Dagger which I see…?

Grey Dagger [larva] (Acronicta psi) Clearly visible on the leaf of an apple tree was a caterpillar of distinction.  Short black hairs, a line the colour of confectioner’s custard down the back, several red stripes on the side of each segment of the body and a white line above the feet. The fourth segment of […]