Monday, 17 September 2012

A Mystery Solved

Another low catch this morning after a cool night but there were 7 Common Marbled Carpets and singles of 5 other species.

The Mystery "hairy caterpillar" in my recent post (12 September) turns out to be an early instar of a Garden Tiger (Arctia caja). This will overwinter like that and eventually change colour and become the well known Woolly Bear, which used to be a very common sight in the UK but is declining, supposedly due to cold and wet weather at the start of the year.

Over the last 5 days I had seen a small moth flying near the house and yesterday I managed to catch it and photograph it.

Anthophila fabriciana, Nettle-tap

This moth is commonly called a "Nettle-tap, presumably because its larvae feed on nettles. It is one of the commonest micro-moths in the UK. It (and the 5 other species of its family, Choreutidae) are easily recognised by the distinctive way they hold their wings

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