Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mother Shipton & Burnet Companion

On a recent walk under the transmission lines in our local woods, I came across two day-flying moths that are sometimes confused with the grizzled and dingy skipper butterflies.

One (top picture) was the brown and yellowish burnet companion, Euclydia glyphica, and the other a Mother Shipton, Callistege mi.

Mother Shipton was a wise woman who lived in Yorkshire in the 15th and 16th centuries. She was reputed to have "a nose of an incredible and unproportionate length" as in the pattern on the moth's forewings. The scientific name 'mi' is Latin for the Greek letter 'mu', supposedly evident on the hindwing, though I think one has to have a fairly strong imagination to pick it out.

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