Glasgow & SW Scotland Butterflies

Glasgow & SW Scotland Branch Website

April 7, 2009

Pick of the Week

Filed under: Moths — Tags: , , , — Heather Young @ 3:05 pm

This (fairly) regular feature is not intended to be a comprehensive list of moths on the wing at any given time, but merely a snapshot of those appearing in my medium-sized, edge-of-town, rather messy Bridge of Allan garden. It may help beginners to narrow down the possibilities for identification of their own moth visitors by pointing out the commoner species across the branch area, with links provided wherever possible to Roy Leverton’s ‘Moths of the Month’ feature on the Highland Branch web-site (click on the names).


My own particular favourite will be show-cased as the ‘Pick of the Week’, a purely arbitrary choice, and may well depend on which one will sit still long enough for a decent photograph!


For the last few weeks, the vast majority of moths in my trap have been Orthosia spp., the most numerous being Common Quaker (O. cerasi), Hebrew Character (O. gothica), and Clouded Drab (O. incerta), along with a steady stream of Chestnuts (Conistra vaccinii) since mid-February (the Chestnut overwinters as an adult, as opposed to a pupa like the other species mentioned, and is amongst the earliest moths to be seen when the weather becomes milder).


My ‘Pick of the Week’ is however a Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata):



Forewing 16mm., at first sitting on an egg box with the wings closed rather like a butterfly, and looking a little nervous, but when offered a piece of birch bark happily settled down on the underside and allowed itself to be photographed. This species overwinters as a pupa in loose earth, and flies in one generation in March and April. The larvae feed on wild roses, and it is reported as being well distributed across the southern parts of Britain, but a little more local in the north.


Please feel free to add comments below – is this moth regularly seen across the south-west Scotland branch area, or did I just get lucky?

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