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: July 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.

   
Green Carpet, Colostygia pectinataria (photo by Roy Leverton) 

Green Carpet Colostygia pectinataria

Late June to early August.

Woodland, marshes, most habitats with bedstraw.

When newly emerged this moth is an attractive apple-green, but the colour soon fades to yellowish white. The black triangles along the leading edge of the forewing help camouflage by disrupting the moth's shape.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Magpie Moth, Abraxas grossulariata (photo by Roy Leverton)

Magpie Moth Abraxas grossulariata

Late June to early August.

Gardens, allotments, woodland edge, also heather moorland.

Few of our geometrids are warningly coloured, but Magpie Moth is an obvious exception. It sits exposed on foliage, protected from most predators by its garish pattern.

Even so, it has declined dramatically in recent decades, especially in urban areas, though huge numbers still occur on heather moorland in north-west Scotland.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Purple Clay, Diarsia brunnea (photo by Roy Leverton)

Purple Clay Diarsia brunnea

Late June to early August.

Deciduous woodland, farmland, gardens.

While the English name of this moth is a slight exaggeration, its scientific one (which translates as brown) scarcely does it justice, as this particularly bright and fresh individual shows.

Though a common moth, it hides by day in ground cover and like others in its group is hardly ever seen except at light or sugar.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Buff-tip, Phalera bucephala, mating pair (photo by Roy Leverton)

Buff-tip Phalera bucephala

Mid-June through July.

Woodland and scrub.

This large and distinctive member of the Prominent family is renowned for its resemblance to a freshly broken bit of twig. Mated pairs remain together throughout the following day, trusting in their camouflage. Sharp eyes as well as luck are required to spot them.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Light Emerald, Campaea margaritata (photo by Roy Leverton)

Light Emerald Campaea margaritata

Late June to early August.

Woodland, parkland, gardens.

Most deciduous trees can be used used as foodplant by this common geometrid.

The delicate blue-green adult rests by day amongst the foliage, usually on the underside of the leaves.

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

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