A New Moth Season

Believe it or not, the new 2013  moth season has already started. Yes, back in early January when we had a spell of mild weather, south coast “Moth’ers” were already catching early migrants but for us folks further north, a slightly different story. We shall soon see the first spring moths beginning to emerge. I’m sure the temperatures will soon change for the better and a new season will begin. It is interesting to note that as in birds,  many of our moth species are also very variable in both sub species, forms and colour variants. For the beginner this can  pose just as difficult an ID process as it can with the identification of birds. (Current discussions over Siberian Chiffchaff for example). I have yet to completely understand why there are so many different colour forms in moths, so anyone who can shed any light on this, I would be very interested to receive opinions.

Here are a few species to look out for in early March. Of particular interest are the two different sub species of Yellow Horned.

Yellow-Horned-scoticaDSCN6719 Yellow Horned – Ssp scotica – The Scottish sub-speciesnote the more grey tones and the prominent pale discal spot. A really attractive moth.

Yellow-Horned2Yellow Horned – Ssp galbanus – Very distinctive with orange antennae which give the moth its name – Yellow Horned.

7thMar2007-010 Common Quaker – An early spring species that is very variable in ground colour. This one is very pale and light sandy-grey.

Common-Quaker-017Common Quaker – This one is the more typical warm orange-brown colour

Oak-Beauty-7thMar2007-007Oak Beauty – A stunning spring moth, again variable in ground colour from white to greenish-grey and orange-brown. The feathered antennae indicate that this is a male.

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