Some June Moths

A month ago I posted a small gallery of moths that I’d been catching (and releasing) here at Great Chalfield in May. The summer has now arrived properly and a whole host of new species have been emerging since then, with June (and as of a couple of nights ago) some July species now on the wing.

Every month has its own beautiful moths to admire, but there’s no doubt that it’s over the summer that some of the most spectacular and beautifully patterned appear: why that should be incidentally, I don’t know, but I would guess the sudden preponderance of green and yellow species is easily understood given the leaves on the trees and the colour the hedgerows have taken on. As might also be expected, given the number of young birds still being fed by their parents, there are also some exquisitely mottled, speckled, and otherwise superbly camouflaged moths around that typically spend the day hidden against lichens or on tree bark. The brighter more exuberant species tend to be distasteful because of toxins or oils absorbed as caterpillars from the leaves or plants they’ve eaten,and the colours are warning to birds and other predators. The two ‘elephant’ hawk-moths, incidentally, are so-named from the appearance of the caterpillars (which – if you’re being especially imaginative – appear to have a small ‘trunk’) rather than the adults.

On a different note two of my favourite species have emerged this month: the amazing Buff-tip, which typically settles head-down and looks remarkably like a broken twig, and the Buff Arches, which is beautifully patterned and such a distinctive tone of grey it almost looks as if has been modelled out of fibreglass.

 


Blotched Emerald
Blotched Emerald Comibaena bajularia

 

Buff Arches
Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides

 

buff-tip

buff-tip
Buff-tip Phalera bucephala

 

clouded silver
Clouded Silver Lomographa temerata

 

coronet

coronet
Coronet Craniophora ligustri (two individuals)

 

Elephant Hawk-moth
Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor

 

green silver-lines, great chalfield
Green Silver-lines Charanyca trigrammica

 

Lilac Beauty
Lilac Beauty Apeira syringaria

 

poplar grey, great chalfield
Poplar Grey Acronicta megacephala (confirmed by white hindwings with dark veins)

 

Small Elephant Hawk-moth
Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus

 

small magpie
Small Magpie

 

Snout
The Snout Hypena proboscidalis

 

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About the author

Passionate about animal welfare and conservation, veggie and dairy-free, I live in the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. I birded the world for twenty years before quitting my airline job and am now freelance. I co-founded Birders Against Wildlife Crime and Birds Korea. Trustee of the League against Cruel Sports On Twitter @charliemoores

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