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

   
Brindled Green, Dryobotodes eremita (R Leverton)

Brindled Green
Dryobotodes eremita

Late August into October.

Oak woodland.

A subtle mix of mossy greens, this moth is well camouflaged at resk on damp autumn trunks.

In Scotland it is rather local, associated with the better oak woods, and rarely numerous. As with other autumn species, ripe blackberries are a favourite attraction after dark.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Grey Pine Carpet, Thera obeliscata (R Leverton)

Grey Pine Carpet
Thera obeliscata

May into November.

Coniferous woodland, sometimes gardens.

This abundant carpet moth is on the wing for more than half the year in overlapping broods, but its numbers are highest in September.

Despite its common name, most Scottish examples are brown or rufous rather than grey, causing confusion with related species. It is also very variable

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Clifden Nonpareil, Catocala frxini (R Leverton)

Clifden Nonpareil
Catocala fraxini

September.

Migrant, east coast & Northern Isles.

This spectacular insect is the moth equivalent of the Camberwell Beauty, reaching us from across the North Sea in autumns when the winds are favourable. Always a great prize, it is large enough to attract attention even from members of the public.

In recent years a breeding colony has become established in Dorset - what a fine addition this would be to our Speyside aspen woods if climate change proves favourable.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Large Wainscot, Rhizedra lutosa (R Leverton)

 

Large Wainscot
Rhizedra lutosa

September and October.

Marshes, reedbeds, ditches.

As its English name implies, this species is bigger than superficially similar wainscots. It also flies much later in the year.

Its caterpillar feeds in the lower stems and rhizomes of Common Reed, particularly where this grows on drier ground. However, the adult is a partial migrant and sometimes turns up far from its usual habitat.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Orange Sallow, Xanthia citrago (R Leverton)

Orange Sallow
Xanthia citrago

Late August to early October.

Parks, avenues, amenity woodland.

As its sole foodplant is Lime, this moth is dependent on planted trees in our area. Thus it is a species of towns and villages rather than natural habitats, widespread but never very numerous, like its host tree.

Many autumn moths come in shades of orange, but none more so than this. Its markings are a good example of a disruptive pattern, breaking up the shape of the moth.

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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