A Poplar, a Puss and a Spectacle

16 June 2013

I have only run a couple of moth traps so far this year, and the number of moths caught was low, but there’s always something interesting.

Left: Puss Moth. Right: Poplar Hawk-moth.

Left: Puss Moth. Right: Poplar Hawk-moth.

The Puss Moth was the first I’ve ever seen – it made life easy for me by doing exactly what the book said, which was that it was not actually in the trap, but fluttering around nearby, and making such a noise doing it that I couldn’t miss it. I get Poplar Hawk-moth most years, but it’s still great to see it. Both of these moths are relatively large, and they need the same foodplant for their caterpillars: sallow or willow trees. We are lucky in that there is a line of trees at the far end of the gardens that border the stream in our village, which apparently date back some 30 years to a project which encouraged people to plant them – we owe a vote of thanks to whoever those people were, as we are reaping the benefits.

The next moth doesn’t look anything special from this angle:

Spectacle Moth from above

Spectacle Moth

But seen head on, he’s not only a bit scary, but you can see where he gets his name…

Spectacle Moth from the front: two white circles round its eyes make it look like it is wearing glasses

Spectacle Moth from the front

By the way – the moths are only trapped for a short time, to allow their identification: they are released soon after, to go about their business.


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