Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Flying without wings

I had a real treat today, when I found this female Diurnea fagella crawling up the outside wall of the house. You would be forgiven for thinking that this moth is newly emerged, or is somehow damaged causing its wings to be stunted. In fact this is one of several moths that occur in the winter and early spring that have flightless females. The female will crawl up the trunk of a deciduous tree, and release pheromones to attract males to mate with it.

Diurnea fagella female

How this moth managed to find its way to the house, and then mistake it for a tree is a bit of a mystery. I suspected that it had not come far, and the likelihood was that it would want to be using the Sessile Oak Queruc petraea just over the fence. I returned it to this tree and it quickly melted into the background, with its fabulous camouflage. Can you see it?

Diurnea fagella female

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