May

As we move through May, there seems to be little sign in the weather settling down. Many of the spring species are still evident even if they are past their best now. Insects are still scarce, and it will take a while for things to catch up. Geometrid moths  have always been one of my favourite families, and it is the second largest next to the Noctuid’s. They are a very diverse group in terms of size shape and colour. These moths in general have a skittish nature and sensitive to vibration. They fly easily especially if the surrounding vegetation is disturbed. They are best photographed using a tripod and a longer focal length macro or telephoto with extension tubes.

Green Carpet Colostygia pectinataria

This is a very colourful and distinctive moth when freshly emerged. It is bright green in colour, but this begins to fade to a yellowish-brown as the insect matures. Adults often rest among vegetation or on the trunks of trees and blend nicely in with the mosses and lichens on the bark. The adults can be seen from May through to July. It is found in a wide range of habitats, including bogs, heaths, woodland and is generally common throughout most of Britain.

Water Carpet Lampropteryx suffumata

This is a spring-flying species. Adults, which are often variable in markings and colour, are on the wing in April and May. The forewings are usually whitish brown and heavily coloured with darker brown towards the outer edge. This moth can be found in a variety of habitats including damp woodland, heaths, bogs, fens, and occasionally mature suburban gardens.

Water-Carpet Lampropteryx suffumata

Nikon D3X, 200mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.

 

Scorched Carpet Ligdia adustata

The English and Latin names of this attractive moth refer to its ‘scorched’ appearance, although this is more evident if viewed from the underside, which is reddish-brown. The adults are white with a blue-grey, wavy band running across the forewing. The head and thorax are a dark blue-grey colour. It is a relatively common moth in southern England and Wales, but less so further north. In Ireland,  it is widely distributed but very local. The moth is associated mainly with woodland rides and clearings. The larvae feed on spindle.

Scorched Carpet Ligdia adustata

Nikon D3X, 200mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.

 

Clouded Silver Lomographa temerata

This is a conspicuous moth when seen at rest on foliage. It is fairly common over most of Britain. The adults have a silky white sheen to the wings. There is also a small discal spot and a noticeable dark patch near the apex of the forewing. Adults normally appear in May and June but seem to be less evident than they were in the past.  The change in agricultural practices and scrub clearance, along with increased cutting of hedges has perhaps had some bearing on present-day populations. It frequents woodland, bogs, hedgerows and suburban habitats. The larvae feed on hawthorn and blackthorn and probably a number of other trees.

Clouded Silver Lomographa temerata

Nikon D3X, 105 mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.

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