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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Moths of the month: August 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.

   
Bordered Beauty, Epione repandaria (photo by Roy Leverton)

Bordered Beauty Epione repandaria

Late July to early September.

Sallow carr, damp woodland and scrub.

This elegant species is widespread in our area, especially in the west, but seldom seen in numbers.

Its colours, shape and markings presumably mimic a yellowing leaf. The harmony is exquisite, though why humans should find it aesthetically pleasing is harder to explain.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Rosy Minor, Mesoligea literosa (photo by Roy Leverton)

Rosy Minor Mesoligia literosa

Late July through August.

Open grassy habitats, especially coastal.

Though this small noctuid is found inland, it is far more numerous on the coast. Its caterpillar feeds inside the stems of grasses so is rarely found, but the adult can be very numerous on ragwort flowerheads after dusk.

It is easier to identify than many of its relatives because of the strong reddish tones in its colour scheme.


Scotch Annulet, Gnophos obfuscatus (photo by Roy Leverton)

Scotch Annulet Gnophos obfuscatus 

Late July through August.

Rocky crags, quarries, scree slopes.

This rather local geometrid is restricted by habitat rather than foodplants, requiring a terrain with much bare rock. Even raised pebble beaches will suffice, as in the Lossie area. Its grainy grey wings provide excellent camouflage against rock faces.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Twin-spot Carpet, Mesotype didymata (photo by Roy Leverton)

Twin-spot Carpet Mesotype didymata

Late June into September.

Occurs almost everywhere.

Twin-spot Carpet is one of our most abundant and ubiquitous geometrids, able to use a huge range of foodplants. It flies throughout the summer, but numbers peak in early August. Largely diurnal and crepuscular, it is more often seem fluttering along woodland rides and road verges than at light, but it is equally at home along the coast and in heather moorland.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Old Lady, Mormo maura (photo by Roy Leverton)

Old Lady Mormo maura

August.

Mainly marshes, carr, river valleys.

No photograph does justice to this moth. In terms of wing area it is easily the largest resident Scottish noctuid. In Highland region it is very local, found mainly in the sheltered lower river valleys. However, despite its size it is a lurking, skulking species, not strongly attracted to light or flowers, though fond of sugar. As a result it is probably overlooked.

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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