Friday, 3 July 2015

Hello Tiger!

There was a tiger in the moth trap yesterday. This was not a Garden Tiger moth (though there was one the other day) or even a Scarlet Tiger moth (which I have seen recently in the garden), but a Tiger Cranefly Nephrotoma flavescens. This is one of the attractively marked Nephrotoma craneflys, with the orange/yellow colouration and black markings on the abdomen and thorax. Craneflies are not exactly everyone's favourite insect, but perhaps this group of species can change some minds.

Tiger Cranefly Nephrotoma flavescens

Back to the moths themselves, and this Barred Straw Gandaritis pyraliata was the first of the season. This is a curious-looking moth with its strange posture, and is associated with bedstraws (Galium sp).

Barred Straw Gandaritis pyraliata

There were a couple of grey looking micromoths which got me very excited, if not anyone else. Anarsia spartiella is a species that I have only recorded on a couple of occasions, and is generally a little recorded species. This may be a grey species, but I have a soft spot for the subtle makings and wonderful labial palps. The larva spin the shoots of gorse (Ulex) and broom (Cytisus).

Anarsia spartiella

The other grey looking moth was another that looks beautiful in my eyes when you appreciate the subtle markings and the character of the species. This is a first record for the garden of Neofaculta ericetella, which lays its eggs on heather (Caluna).

Neofaculta ericetella

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