This blog post originally appeared on Peter's 'Fresh from the Field' blog on 5th October 2015.
I put the moth trap out over the weekend and despite the temperature dropping to four degrees, I had a reasonable catch!
Top of the billing was a record 55 Black rustics - a sooty black moth with a couple of slightly orangey new moon shapes on the main wing. They are a classic autumn moth, flying only in September and October and although a common species, it is good to see them doing so well.
Two Frosted Orange moths also put in an appearance, which was great as I always think that if you had to design an "autumn coloured moth" then you would probably come up with a Frosted Orange! What a great name too! Once again they predominantly fly in September and October and although not numerous, are quite a common moth.
But then, hiding away on almost the last egg carton to be taken out of the trap was the "wonder of the day" - and one of my favourite moths - a Merveille du jour! This is such a stunning creature with the most beautiful patterned mix of greens and black, designed specifically for it to disappear when sitting on a lichen clad tree trunk!
The Merveille du jour is the least common of these three autumnal moths, being relatively thinly spread, but when it does turn up in a September or October moth trap, especially if it has recently hatched out and is in pristine condition, it really gladdens the heart!
I hope you enjoy seeing these hidden gems of the autumn night!
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