Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Just a few moths

Moths seem to be even scarcer this year than before.  In a wonderful, still, heatwave dusk I walked round the garden and saw no moths at all.  It is now rare to find them on our windows after dark whereas 30 or 40 years ago one could expect to see a great variety of species here.

As well as moths, many other insects seem to be down in number.  Our first hogweeds are out, but are hardly jostling with species as they used to be and honey bees are very few, though the recently arrived in Britain Bombus hypnorum, the tree bee, has had a good season and must have done much of the pollinating that is usually the province of the honey bee.

One of the few moths I have seen round the house is the small dusty wave (Idaea seriata), kindly identified by one of the experts on iSpot.

While yesterday a spotted a micro under a leaf (difficult to photograph) that turned out to be the Oecophorid Esperia oliviella.

Often caterpillars seem easier to find than adults.  On the corner by the lane there is a hogweed almost completely eaten to pieces by larvae of the parsnip moth (Depressaria pastinacella).  They seem almost to have created their own problems by being too many for the food supply.

Moths may be doing poorly, but butterflies seem to be managing quite well.  Meadow browns are abundant and I have seen virtually all the species I would have expected to see by this time of the year.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We seem to have a lot of moths and I rescued a swallowtail this morning and put it on the ivy and yesterday I think it was a grass eggar moth; it was so furry! (East Sussex)

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