Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Purple Rain

The highlight from this morning was a member of the lepidoptera family, but it was not a moth. In fact I was so pleased that I dragged a passing dog walker into the garden to see it (I did know the dog walker in question!). The insect was this Purple Hairstreak, resting on the wall and by far the best views I have ever had of this species.

Purple Haristreak

This was not the only purple insect either, running it a close second was this beautiful Purple Thorn. A garden first and something that could easily be overlooked as a dead leaf! The diagnostic diffuse dark spot on the upperwing can just be seen here.

Purple Thorn

There was another thorn species in the trap, and one which is a little but more colourful. The Canary-shouldered Thorn is a quite a common moth, and a sure sign that autumn is on the way. The fluffy yellow thorax, shown well in this photograph, is what gives this moth its name.

Canary-shouldered Thorn

As an alternative to purple as the theme for the blog, I could have chosen something related to birds. In addition to our canary there were a couple more bird related moths. With the black and white patterning, it is no surprise that this is called The Magpie. A species that I get a few of each year, it is a much declined moth that used to be thought of as a pest due to the caterpillars fondness for berry bushes.

The Magpie
The other bird-related moth was one with a mythical edge. The Small Phoenix, photographed here in typical posture raising the tip of its abdomen.

Small Phoenix

The final moth for this blog was one that came to the living room window, rather than the trap. It was quickly potted and photographed, though attempts to get a picture in a more natural setting were a failure. This is a Blood-vein, a reasonably common and widespread moth, but also a very attractive one.


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