Friday, April 25, 2014

Crozier cradle

In Killigan Wood today I found this male Reaumur's longhorn moth, Adela reaumurella, cradled in the uncurling top of a soft shield-fern frondIf you look carefully you can see a long antenna like a white thread running down from the head of the moth.  I also found several more plants of this fern in the wood, though it is not as common as the other ferns.  It is easy to pick out at this time of year as the frond tips bend outwards and the pinnae unroll from neat silver balls.


At the entrance to the wood I noticed a spray of oak leaves that appear to belong to the ‘other’ British species, Quercus petraea, the sessile or durmast oak (no lobes at the base of the leaves, stellate hairs on the underside, five lobes etc.).  The word ‘durmast’ is often spelt with a capital, but it does not appear to derive from a place-name.  The Oxford English Dictionary suggests it might have derived from a misspelling of ‘dun mast’.


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