This autumn moth the Merveille du Jour is one of my favourites. Its name derives from the French meaning Wonder of the Day.
The adult moth flies in September and October and often feeds on ivy flowers and fallen fruit.
Its distinct colours and patterning enable it to lie hidden during the day on lichen covered trees.
The caterpillars feed in the spring on newly emerged oak tree flowers.
This is a Nationally Scarce A species of moth which means it lives in less than 100 ten kilometre squares in the UK. I have trapped the male of the species several times before but have never seen a female – I have two in the trap the other night.
The female has four spots on her wings (one is hidden under a wing)
Here is a close up
Here is the male for comparison – no spots!
A couple of striking moths in the trap this morning
This is a Four-spotted Footman – it is a male, the females have the spots. It is a rare moth, designated as a Nationally Notable A, it is reasonably well distributed in the south west and I record it in my garden most years. Its larvae feed on lichens.
This pretty moth is Black Arches – a local species residing in the south of the UK. Its caterpillars feed on oaks.
Lovely Gothic moth in the trap this morning
A local moth. Its caterpillars feed on a variety of shrubs and herbaceous plants including common comfrey
I had a Tawny-barred Angle in my trap the other night
A species associated with conifer plantations as the caterpillars feed on the needles of Scots Pine and Norway Spruce. Although I can’t see any conifers from my garden there must be one somewhere near!
I found a Small Angles Shades in the trap a couple of days ago – a new species for me.
Although I’ve never seen one before it is a common species across the UK. Its caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants but it appear to favour bracken which is unusual.
Following on from yesterday’s blog about the Beautiful Golden Y, today the trap contained a closely related species – the Burnished Brass, so called because of its shiny ‘metallic’ scales.
It is a common species throughout the UK and its caterpillars feed predominantly on nettles.
Burnish means to polish metal