Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Moths of the month: May 2010

This is a monthly series illustrating several characteristic moths to look out for in our area. Text and photos by Roy Leverton.

You can also view the other months by selecting the links at the bottom of this page..

   
Pine-tree Lappet, Dendrolicus pini (photo by Roy Leverton)

Pine-tree Lappet
Dendrolimus pini

Two-year life cycle, with adults flying in midsummer.

Pinewoods and plantations.

Whether a recent arrival or overlooked native, this fine large moth is a welcome addition to our fauna and most unlikely to become a pest. The caterpillars feed high in the treetops and are rarely seen.  

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Small Dark Yellow Underwing, Anarta cordigera (photo by Roy Leverton)

Small Dark Yellow Underwing
Anarta cordigera

late April through May.

Caterpillars feed on Bearberry.

This is one of the few Scottish specialities to be causing genuine concern, with few recent sightings.

Moths fly rapidly in sunshine over Arctostaphylos heath, but are most easily found resting on rocks or fence posts in dull weather.

All records will be welcomed.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Red Twin-spot carpet, Xanthorhoe spadiceara (photo by Roy Leverton)

Red Twin-spot carpet
Xanthorhoe spadicearia

May and June.

Heaths, moors, mosses and other open habitats.

This carpet moth is at least partly diurnal and crepuscular, so does not often come to light.

In our area it seems to be commoner in the east; further west the very similar Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet replaces it.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Lunar Thorn, Selenia lunularia (photo by Roy Leverton)

 

Lunar Thorn
Selenia lunularia

May into June.

Woodland and scrub.

Rarely numerous, Lunar Thorn is always a welcome find in the moth trap or at a lighted window.

By day, its tattered dead-leaf camouflage helps to ensure it is rarely seen.

The colouring of our Scottish examples is particularly deep and rich.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Light Knot Grass, Acronicta menyanthidis (photo by Roy Leverton)

Light Knot Grass

Acronicta menyanthidis

May and June.

Upland heather moorland.

Searching weathered fence posts in appropriate habitat is much the best way to find Light Knot Grass.

Here a pair that mated the previous night is still present though now separated - a large, well-marked female of the scotica subspecies and a rather less impressive male.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


  View other months

January - February

March

April

October

November - December

2008: May | June | July | August | September

2009: May | June | July | August | September

2010: May | June | July | August | September

2011: May | June | July | August | September

2012: May | June | July | August | September

2013: May | June | July | August | September

2014: May | June | July | August | September

2015: May | June | July | August | September

2016: May | June | July | August | September

2017: May | June

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