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

   
Brown-spot Pinion, Agrochola litura (photo by Roy Leverton)

Brown-spot Pinion Agrochola litura

Woodland edge, scrub, hedgerows.

Late August through September.

Similar in colour to a brown autumn leaf, this species rests in the ground litter and is rarely seen by day. At night it visits ripe blackberries.

Though common here, elsewhere in Europe it is said to be local and scarce.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Heath Rustic, Xestia agathina (photo by Roy Leverton)

Heath Rustic Xestia agathina

Heather moorland.

Mid August to mid September.

Heath Rustic has an Atlantic-Mediterranean distribution, so our Highland populations are at the northern limit of its range. It is associated with mature heather, often in the shelter of trees. Though widespread, it is rarely seen in numbers.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Portland Moth, Actebia praecox (photo by Roy Leverton)

Portland Moth Actebia praecox

Sand dunes, shingle beaches.

Mid August to late September.

Habitat requirements of extensive sand and shingle make this a very local species in Britain.

Its unique metallic blue-green forewings (which glitter in torchlight) add to its charisma.

Findhorn, Culbin and Fort George are key sites in our area, but the moth also occurs well inland on the shingle deposits of the Spey.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Pale Eggar, Trichiura crataegi (photo by Roy Leverton)

Pale Eggar Trichiura crataegi

Moorland and scrub.

August and September (sometimes July).

Like its larger cousins, Pale Eggar is mainly a moorland species in Scotland.

Its hairy caterpillar feeds on heather or deer-grazed birch and if unable to complete its development in one summer, it can hibernate partly grown and produce a moth by next July. Such flexibility is doubtless a great advantage given the uncertainties of our Scottish weather.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


September Thorn, Ennomos erosaria (photo by Roy Leverton)

September Thorn Ennomos erosaria

Oak and birch woodland.

Late July to September?

This attractive geometrid is widespread but local and scarce in the Highlands.

Both wings and body are the colour of a chantarelle, lacking the bright yellow thorax of its commoner relative Canary-shouldered Thorn (see September 2009 Moths). Like all the thorns, it is rarely seen except at light.

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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