Wed 18/07/2018

Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar
Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar

A few more moths at home today! This big moth, with a wingspan easily over two inches, has amazing feathery antennae that resemble rabbit’s ears. This is a male gypsy moth Lymantria dispar, a troublesome pest of various trees. It went extinct in Britain in the last century, although still appeared as a migrant – more recently though it has staged a bit of a comeback in the south east. The female is larger and almost white; the Latin name dispar means ‘unequal’, and refers to the dimorphism between the sexes. Lymantria means ‘destroyer’ – make of that what you will.

Twenty-plume moth Alucita hexadactyla
Twenty-plume moth Alucita hexadactyla

This tiny, frail moth  is the Twenty-plume Moth Alucita hexadactyla, whose wings are so deeply divided that it looks as it it has 20 feathery wings. Bit of a rubbish photo I’m afraid; this was in the kitchen and it was getting dark.

Straw dot moth Rivula sericealis
Straw dot moth Rivula sericealis

Above is another small moth, about a centimetre long. The sharp, triangular shape, prominent dot on each forewing and warm, straw colour give it away as the straw dot Rivula sericealis. Below, at last, I found ‘the other’ common variant of the riband wave Idaea aversata, (compare Fri 13/07/18).

Riband wave moth Idaea aversata
Riband wave moth Idaea aversata

While we are about it – well it was warm if somewhat overcast, so I was sitting in the garden when this huge cloud of gulls started wheeling overhead. Not sure what they were after exactly, but it seemed like a jolly gathering; mostly black-headed gulls I should think.

(Mostly) black-headed gulls
(Mostly) black-headed gulls

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