Flightless female

It is a good time of year to keep an eye out for the fascinating species whose females have evolved to become flightless.  A good place to look is in woodland, by torchlight, on tree trunks.

I had this female Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) emerge on 21.ii.2016, having reared it through from a larva found on Blackthorn.

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The eyes have it

Four species of adult moth yesterday evening and overnight, two to the trap and two found by torchlight just after dark.

The two found dusking – Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) and Early Moth (Theria primaria) – were betrayed by the reflection of my torchlight in their eyes, hence the title of the post.  Well worth giving this a try.

The garden trap yielded Chestnut (Conistra vacinnii) and a year first Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica).

No light highlights

When looking back at the highlights from each year, yes, there are plenty moths of note for the trap, be it mobile or in the garden. However, I am always struck by how many of my highlights are from methods other than the light trap: this includes pheromone lures, dusking, daytime searches, larvae, pupae and of course mines with a fair bit of rearing thrown in too.

So, hopefully these highlights will help to encourage those who haven’t done so already, to consider life ‘beyond the moth trap’…