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: September 2008

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.

   
Convolvulus Hawkmoth, Agrius convolvuli (photo by Roy Leverton)

Convolvulus Hawkmoth
Agrius convolvuli

Found here mainly in late summer and autumn.

May turn up anywhere, especially in gardens.

September offers the best chance to see this spectacular migrant. While not the rarity it once was, its huge size always attracts attention with many sightings coming from the general public.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Red-green Carpet, Chloroclysta siterata (photo by Roy Leverton)

Red-green Carpet
Chloroclysta siterata

Flight period from September to October, then again in spring.

Inhabits woodland and scrub.

The sexes of this moth have very different lifespans. Mating takes place in Autumn, and all males then die. The female hibernates and does not begin to lay until well into the spring. Some survive into July, making this arguably our longest lived moth.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Vapouer, Orgyia antiqua (photo by Roy Leverton)

Vapourer
Orgyia antiqua

Flight period in Highland late August into October.

May be found in woods, moorland and gardens.

Males fly actively on sunny days, often at treetop height, in search of mates. The sole activity of the flightless female is to cover the outside of her cocoon with eggs. The hairy caterpillars hatch in spring and are soon dispersed by wind and may end up almost anywhere.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Centre-barred Sallow, Atethmia centrago (photo by Roy Leverton)

Centre-barred Sallow
Atethmia centrago

Flight period from late August to September.

Inhabits woodland, parkland.

This is perhaps the most colourful of the various "sallow moths", patterned like autumn leaves, though in fact it feeds on ash. With a Mediterranean / Atlantic coast distribution, it reaches its northernmost limit in our area.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Herald, Scoliopteryx libatrix (photo by Roy Leverton)

Herald
Scoliopteryx libatrix

Flight period from September to October, then again in spring.

Found in woodland and sallow carr.

This colourful moth heralds the arrival of autumn proper, then of spring after passing the winter in hibernation. It prefers ripe berries to nectar, piercing them with its proboscis to suck the juice.

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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