Wednesday, 7 November 2012

They have brought forth juniper carpets

A very impressive haul from Graham last night. I did not trap myself (though the trap is on now), but I also found what I think is a new species for the Strettons moth list last night. This was a Juniper Carpet found resting in my porch.

Juniper Carpet

This posed a bit of a mystery. As the name implies, Juniper Carpets are associated with Junipers, both wild and garden varieties. I have not seen any Junipers of any description in Batch Valley, so where had this come from? Well, a bit of investigation suggests that the larva of Juniper Carpet will also feed on Leyland Cypress (commonly known as leylandii). This is in the same family as Juniper (Cypressaceae) and up until last moth I had about 30 leylandii trees in my garden, and though they have now been cut down there is still a lot of brash left and small levlandii in some of the hedges. So perhaps this is the answer to what has attracted this lovely moth. And a reminder of how what we plant in our gardens affects the range of wildlife we see there (though not many people would claim leylandii are that good for wildlife!).

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