Saturday, July 27, 2013

St. Swithun's Day if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain...

And so the rain has gone on, with periodic spells of sweltering, humid sunshine. Nonetheless, with July almost over it was high time for some mid-summer mothing. The trap has been on for the past two nights. After some heavy predation by the lizards and a bit of clumsy potting, here are the photographs of the remaining moths. Of course, the star of the show was our noisy cicada (or 'avocado' as William preferred to call it) who was happily released back into the garden, slightly confused but none the worse for wear.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Water, water, every where

Hurricane Season has arrived and with it came the rain. So much rain that we yummy mummies in our 4x4s look entirely practical ploughing through the puddles to get the kids from school. While it is not great for moths, the rain is drawing many other creatures out of hiding. Happy families of snails line our driveway and we are beset by mosquitoes - as big and black as houseflies - which audibly pop and leave great red spatter marks when you swat them.

The Cuban tree frogs are in song and the land crabs are using this time to migrate. Fat crabs, thin crabs, hairy crabs and smooth crabs. Orange crabs, yellow crabs, pink crabs and blue crabs  Some of the braver ones have made their way into our garden, past our crab-crazed dog.  Many of the faster crabs made it all the way to the other side.

I have to wonder what effect the development of the land is having on the crab population - certainly there are still plenty of them but surely the houses, fences, cars and pets are making their migration ever more precarious? People are a direct threat too - apparently they are good eating, if you keep them in a bin and feed them mangoes for a while before you cook them up!

Perhaps the least desirable effect of the rain is that it has driven a couple of scorpions under our front door in their search for shelter. I'm not overly happy about playing scorpion hide-and-seek until this weather improves...

So, no mothing but a few nice creature pics to share:

Monday, May 20, 2013

In lieu of massive colourful moths...

Here are a couple of things the East of England doesn't have to offer: A beautiful sun halo which loomed over us for a full hour one May afternoon and an incredible Glowing Click Beetle. Found floating on a raft of dog-toy-stuffing in our pool. His two 'headlights' caught my attention as they are stunningly bright - very cool, maybe I should take up beetling....

Sun Halo

Glowing Click Beetle.

Not my beetle pics (I was too busy giving it the kiss of life)
- check out and for original postings. 

Mothing much to report...

... a few more in the trap but not as many as anticipated. Could it really be true that Bedfordshire has more exciting moths than the Caymans? Perhaps worth mentioning to the Beds tourist board.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

By the light of the moon, a little trap sat on a balcony

On Monday the trap was watched by one greedy tree frog. On Tuesday the trap was watched by two greedy tree frogs... and a light sensitive husband who pulled the plug at around 11pm. Insult to injury was finding the trap entirely empty save for one black crispy looking frog poo. Do the moths simply untrap themselves if the lights are turned off or did those fat frogs manage to squeeze inside somehow? Disappointing. I caught one in a pot earlier in the night and reshot photos of yesterday's Moth Doe number 2 which are a little clearer.

Little moth, just under 10mm, head to end of wing.

Moth No.2 from yesterday - side view, approx 15mm in length.
Moth No. 2 from yesterday shot in better light

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Brown brigade

Now, let's be clear, a spot of midweek mothing does not constitute an addiction... yet.
A new site -  on our upstairs balcony, safely away from the dog. As soon as the sun went down the first few visitors arrived, along with a very fat Cuban tree frog who presumably got fatter as the night went on. Lots of brown moths today:

Cramer's Sphinx Moth - Erinnyis crameri

Spodoptera ornitholgalli - Yellow-striped Armyworm Moth

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pearls before swine

Last weekend I was in New York tipping cabs rather than trapping moths so I was (rather nerdily) looking forward to putting the trap out again last night after the break. Within seconds of turning on the lights I managed to pot a pearlescent beauty! Despite my high hopes for a good haul of moths I woke at 5.45am to the sound of pouring rain and ended up racing out to switch off the trap rather earlier than hoped. Luckily the "Ratface USA" held up well in the weather - not surprisingly, the soggy egg boxes contained nothing more than one poor dull little moth (see below) and a dopey black beetle.

Pretty shiny pinks and creams - I love this mystery moth!
Showing its beautiful pearlescent wings in the sunshine
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess?
Perhaps this one has a good sense of humour.