The Chinese Character

I found a Chinese Character moth in the trap last night. It is a small animal with a wing length of around 12mm and is a member of the Hook-tip family.

Chinese Character 1

There is much debate around why this moth Cilix glaucata has its English name. There is an interesting thread here from a language website. The main theory suggests that if you look carefully at the large brown / grey spot in the middle of the wing you can see some very faint white lines / dots which make the shape |_|_| which is a Chinese character which according to Wikipedia means ‘mountain’. Another theory suggests the wing markings resemble a Chinese silk painting.

Take your pick on the English name derivation, the more amazing thing about this moth is why in evolutionary terms it is shaped and coloured as it is – it is mimicking a bird dropping – any predator that saw it would think twice about eating it!

Chinese Character 2
When at rest on a plant it looks rather convincing.

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