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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Moths of the month: June 2009

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.

   
Argent and Sable, Rheumaptera hastata (photo by Roy Leverton_

Argent & Sable Rheumaptera hastata

Late May through June, damp moorland and bogs.

This distinctive moth is a western species in Scotland, matching the distribution of its main foodplant here, bog-myrtle.

Unlike most carpet moths it is purely diurnal, usually seen when flying in sunshine. The starkness of its black and white pattern suggests warning coloration rather than camouflage.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Foxglove Pug, Eupithecia pulchellata (photo by Roy Leverton)

Foxglove Pug Eupithecia pulchellata

June into July.

Woodland rides and clearings, anywhere the foodplant is present, including gardens.

Pug moths are notoriously difficult to identify, but its strong pattern makes this one of the easier species.

Foxglove is its only foodplant, but even then the caterpillar is choosy, feeding mainly on the stamens inside the flowers.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Mother Shipton, Callistege mi (photo by Roy Leverton)

Mother Shipton Callistege mi

Late May through June, on open, flower-rich grassland, sand-dunes.

A widespread but very local species in our area, this day-flying noctuid is a sign of good habitat.

It is active in sunshine, flying close to the turf, but can easily be mistaken for a skipper butterfly.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Magpie Moth, Abraxas grossulariata (photo by Roy Leverton)

Magpie Moth Abraxas grossulariata

Most habitats including urban areas.

Caterpillar full-grown in June.

At one time, caterpillars of the Magpie Moth were a familiar site, often reaching pest proportions on garden currants and Euonymus hedges. In recent years there has been a major decline and over most of Britain this is now a scarce species - except in north and west Scotland, where huge population explosions sometimes occur on heather moorland.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Beautiful Golden Y, Autographa pulchrina (photo by Roy Leverton)

Beautiful Golden Y Autographa pulchrina

June and July, most habitats including woodland, gardens, farmland.

More richly coloured than its migratory relative the Silver Y, this resident plusia is particularly common in Scotland. It can use a very wide range of foodplants as diverse as nettle, cow parsley and garden strawberry.

The tufts of thoracic and abdominal hair help the moth's resemblance to a curled dead leaf when at rest by day.

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 | July | August

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