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 2011

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.


   
Lime-speck Pug, Eupithecia centaureata (R Leverton)

Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata

Late June into August.

Waste ground, sand dunes, other coastal habitats

This is the one pug everybody can identify. Rather than hide, it mimics a bird dropping, resting openly on leaves or stems.

The caterpillar often feeds on ragwort flowers.

In our area it is found along the Moray Firth and on the machair of the Outer Hebrides, but apparently not elsewhere on the west coast - a rather strange distribution.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Lyme Grass Chortodes elymi (R Leverton)

Lyme Grass Chortodes elymi

Late June into August.

Coastal sand dunes.

This is a very local moth in Britain, largely confined to extensive east coast sand dunes where its sole foodplant, lyme-grass, grows.

Its caterpillar lives internally in the lower stems and roots.

In our area there is a strong colony at Nairn.

Though plain and drab, the adults are perfectly camouflaged when resting on the old leaves and stems.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Black Mountain Moth Glacies coracina (R Leverton)

Black Mountain Moth Glacies coracina

Late June and July.

Mountains.

This strange little day-flying moth is found on stony ridges and summit plateaux above the 800 metre mark.

Its caterpillars feed on crowberry and the life cycle takes two years in this harsh environment.

Moths fly only in sunshine.

They are more numerous in odd-numbered years (such as 2011), perhaps because of some complex interaction with their parasitoids.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Lempke's Gold Spot Plusia putnami (R Leverton)

 

Lempke's Gold Spot Plusia putnami

July into August.

Fens, marshes, wet moorland.

During the past decade this attractive species has greatly expanded its distribution in Scotland and increased in numbers, apparently at the expense of its close relative, Gold Spot.

Both species share a similar habitat, with their caterpillars feeding on grasses and sedges, so may be in direct competition with each other.

The adults are strongly attracted to flowers at dusk, including garden buddleia. By day they rest head-downwards on vegetation.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


The Gothic Naenia typica (R Leverton)

The Gothic Naenia typica

July into August.

Gardens, marshes, damp weedy places.

Widespread but never numerous, the Gothic is probaby commoner in gardens than in any other habitat.

Its caterpillars feed on many different low plants and shrubs, communally at first.

The broad-winged, rather skulking adult is not strongly attracted to light traps and seems to be relatively inactive. It hides by day and at night occasionally visits sugar or flowers.

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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