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Shandy Hall Moths

2 September 2020

1 September 2020 – Naked Ladies

(Acleris variegana) For a while I thought this moth was new to the gardens. The trap had been set as an extra to the National Moth Nights as the events themselves had fallen short where numbers and species were concerned.  The chilly following Monday morning didn’t promise much and a total of six moths was […]

29 August 2020

29 August 2020 – Moth Night 2020

Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) It didn’t snow.  The wind lashed the acers and the rain caused the hollyhocks to lie flat, but it didn’t snow so we have something to be grateful for.  Setting the trap on the first of the three evenings assigned as National Moth nights would have been pointless and last […]

21 August 2020

21 August 2020 – Uncertain Identities

  Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes)   The first thought was ‘Lunar Underwing’ but that moth doesn’t seem to incorporate the dark triangular markings towards the wing tips; then ‘Lesser Yellow Underwing’ which I could have easily determined if I had encouraged the moth to move and display its coloured hindwings – if it had […]

9 August 2020

8 August 2020 – Sitting on the Fence

Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) The Ruby Tigers seen in the garden at Shandy Hall have all been bright red.  This one could be the variant sub-species  borealis with its forewings more of a woody brown.  There is a pink tinge to the wings on this specimen but there is also one clearly displayed, ruby-coloured front […]

4 August 2020

4 August 2020 – Botticelli Moth

(Blastobasis adustella) Phillip Christos Zeller (1808 – 33) was a distinguished German professor and microlepidopterist.  He gave names to 186 new species of moths and was the author (along with H T Stainton, Heinrich Frey and J W Douglas) of the 13-volume monograph The Natural History of the Tineina. His collection of moths is now […]

18 July 2020

17 July 2020 – Charles Bonnet and the Homunculus

(Argyresthia bonnetella) A moth with a connection to Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy? Odd but delightfully true.   If the scientific name, Argyrthesia bonnetella, is examined, its sources can be identified. Arguros is the word for silver and esthes translates as dress. The two words combined refer to the metallic sheen on the moth’s wings. Bonnetella is […]

13 July 2020

13 July 2020 – Changed Identities

Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata) The weather continues to complicate matters.  Last night the temperature dropped following a sunny, almost hot, day and the number of moths in the trap reflects the chilly flying conditions.  On the floor of the ‘arcade’ in the garden there is evidence of some moth activity.  One spot in the […]

8 July 2020

7 July 2020 – Black and White

Peppered Moth (Biston insularia) All the Peppered Moths I have seen in the gardens at Shandy Hall have been the whiter versions of the species – until now.  Here is Biston insularia (‘insular’ meaning : pertaining to an island) which is halfway between Biston betularia and B. carbonaria. This intermediate member of the species is […]

29 June 2020

28 June 2020 – Post Script

Beautiful Snout (Hypena crassilis) I hoped there might be another Beautiful Snout in the trap and there was – still not in perfect condition but much better than the first.  The velvety, chocolate-coloured wing markings were clear and the little distinctive lines on the wing-tips easily seen. I have looked out for bilberry bushes (the […]

25 June 2020

24 June 2020 – From Kent to Yorkshire

Beautiful Snout (Hypena crassalis) I knew I hadn’t seen this moth before but it was a rather worn little creature and to begin with I didn’t pay it much attention. The orange mark just behind the head is not a feature that might aid identification, it is where tufts of hair would normally cover the […]

22 June 2020

22 June 2020 – Moths and Beethoven

Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) At first I assumed it was a pug.  I was wrong.  The Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) is the correct identification despite the fact that there are quite a number of spots on the wings of this moth.  Not a new one for the garden and I see that I made the […]

18 June 2020

16 June 2020 – Platonic Harmony

Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana) Some mornings everything falls into place – other mornings are more complicated.  Just as I was beginning to inspect the trap to see what was to be found, a Small Elephant Hawkmoth decided to launch itself into activity.  The wing-beats of this moth are frenetic and relentless and it will […]