Saturday 16 October 2010

Autumn moths

Feathered Thorn
For the first time, I have continued moth trapping beyond September. Various circumstances dictated against it in the past three years, including my belief that there wasn't much to catch (!), plus absences and bad weather. This year, although I am only catching a handful of moths a night (sometimes only one or two), they are not without interest as they include moths which only fly late in the year. The Feathered Thorn doesn't emerge until about mid-September and then can be found flying until early December. The Satellite emerges in late September and actually overwinters as an adult, flying in mild weather, rather like a Small Tortoishell Butterfly does. It lays its eggs in March and April.
I don't know why the Feathered Thorn is so called, but if you look very closely at the Satellite you can just make out a small white dot which is the satellite of the larger brown dot beside it! In some specimens, the brown dot is also white and a second small white satellite dot is also present.

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