Sunday, 24 November 2013

Norfolk moths: Rockland St. Peter garden, 23 November 2013

The night of 23 November was relatively warm: 8.7°C at 17h30, 4.9°C at 22h30 climbing to 7.0°C at 07h00. A light southerly breeze dropped away by early morning, and by 05h30 a light drizzle was falling on the trap, but the moon - commencing its last quarter, was clearly visible over the rooves.

By 21h00 a conspicuous dark moth had settled on the wall of the lean-to. It had the familiar textbook shape of the Peppered Moth Biston betularia, but turned out to be an early Pale Brindled Beauty. South (1908) gives the season as "the first two or three months of the year, but it has been noted in November and December", while Skinner (1984) mentions that "in mild weather the first specimens can appear in late autumn"; Waring, Townsend & Lewington (2003) state that it is "occasionally found in late December".

A neat December Moth was tucked in the corner of the trap. No further moths were caught during the remaining nine-and-a-half hours of trapping.

Pale Brindled Beauty Phigalia pilosaria


Macro-moths (2 moths of 2 spp.); no micros:-

Poecilocampa populi December Moth 1
Phigalia pilosaria Pale Brindled Beauty 1


References

Skinner, B. (1984) Colour identification guide to moths of the British Isles. Viking: Middlesex. x + 267 pp.

South, R. (1908) The moths of the British Isles, second series. Frederick Warne & Co.: London. 388 pp.

Waring, P., Townsend, M. & Lewington, R. (2003) Field guide to the moths of Great Britain and Ireland. British Wildlife Publishing: Hook, Hampshire. 432 pp.

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