The Early Thorn and its relatives

There was an Early Thorn in my trap this morning – on the wing between February and May

It is the only one of the Thorn species which holds its wing together over its back like a butterfly

View from above

This contrasts with the Lunar Thorn

The Feathered Thorn

The Canary-shouldered Thorn

And the September Thorn

Some different moths

A few different species in the trap last night.

Ear Moth
This is the Ear Moth – so called on account of the two white sets of markings on the forewing. The larvae feed on the roots of grasses. Reasonably common but a good record for my garden.

Canary-shouldered thorn
One of my favourites – the Canary-shouldered Thorn – a common species – caterpillar feed on birch and other scrubs – emerges as an adult at the end of July so right on cue.

Brussels Lace
Needed a bit of ID help from Richard Fox for this one – it is a Brussels Lace. A locally common species in the south-west and west of the UK. Caterpillars feed on lichens.

Swallow Prominent 1
This is a Swallow Prominent – this will be a second generation animal (the first generation fly from late April to June). The caterpillars feed on aspen, poplars and willows.

Some autumn moths

As Autumn kicks in the moths in the moth trap change. Here are three species I always associate with September and October.

Canary shouldered thorn 1
This is the Canary Shouldered Thorn

Canary shouldered thorn 2
It is my favourite moth – it is on the wing wing from late July to mid October but I tend to see it when the nights really start drawing in. The larvae feed on various shrub species including birch, willow and hornbeam

Canary shouldered thorn 4
What a cuddly cross-eyed chap!

This is the Sallow – the caterpillars first feed on willows but then drop off the tree and start feeding on a variety of other herbaceous plants

Lunar underwing
And this is the lunar underwing – note the dark crescent shaped mark on the forewing – a late species appearing only in September on and October – the caterpillars feed on various grasses