Little Miss Muffet

As we all know the esteemed Ms. M sat on a tuffet tussock. If she had sat on this Tussock she may have had a bigger surprise than a teddy bears’ picnic. Lying in wait this moth looks like something out a Hammer film. Revenge of the Killer Tussock. In fact, Calliteara pudibunda is quite a harmless creature. It was one of 12 species visiting the Lodge moth trap overnight.Pale TussockHere is another welcome visitor, known in the trade as Cerula vinala but to its friends it is Puss Moth. Puss Moth

The garden is very productive for lepidoptera. I am up to 53 moth species in three weeks. Absolute numbers remain low but diversity is excellent.

My favourite today was Alder Moth, Acronicta alniAcronicta alniLest you think I only favour the leps I can share a rather poor shot of what you will immediately recognise as a Ladybird beetle. This one is about 4mm long and without a macro lens I had to crop far too much. This is a 14-spot Ladybird, Propylea quattuordecimpunctata. This is one of those species where the length of the name is inversely proportional to the size of the insect. It is also yellow and black. Propylea quattuordecimpunctata

It took me an hour to get this one to pause long enough for me to photograph it. I had found it amongst the nettles, tubed it  and brought it in to have its picture taken. It was like a hamster on a wheel, running crazily up and down, round and round. It would flip over on to its back and wriggle wildly until it righted itself. Strange to watch. Beetles were not my favourites this morning as the trap was overrun by cockchafers. Probably they had eaten a few rarities but I can’t sit up all night swatting may bugs. So all in all I am happy with the surveying.

PS. Now the election is over and that awfully smug nice Mr. Cameron is back in number 10 we can all hope that moths will have a better future under the Conservative party.

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19 thoughts on “Little Miss Muffet

  1. I admit I’ve not paid much notice to moths. Your photographs have showed me I’m missing out! The pudibunda reminds me of the Star Wars character Chewbacca. 🙂

  2. Mr Moth how long will we have before they try to catch you,you know that the tables can turn a trap fir one can be a trap for you,there is this twilight zone episode where they land on mars and they come across a book called how to server man and its not about serving it’s about how to eat him
    Beware my Mr Moth
    That trap has your name on it
    Signed
    The Insector

  3. Some beauties there Andrew. The killer tussock looks like an invitation for a new concept is a vacuum cleaner. What a surprise election. The polls were a bit all over the place. Better be a moth I think.

  4. The first moth photo, puss moth, I think, is so unusual. Looks to be almost artificial with all the fuzzy adornment. I’ve never cared much for moths but you surely are providing nice information. I have to agree with you, it seems your lodge is a haven for moths. I hope that means your garden will prove enticing to owl/s that includes insects in their diet.

    • We have a Tawny Owl calling, Yvonne. But I was happier to see the Bullfinches this morning. Gorgeous birds but eating my apple blossom.

      • Bullfinches are very pretty and in North America the Grosbeak is its closest relative. I listened to an audio of the Bullfinch and its song is lovely. As you mentioned, the Bullfinch eats buds so I hope the birds leave some blooms that will eventually become apples.

      • The Bullfinch has a sweet little piping call that is easy to learn and recognise. It is increasingly scarce in Britain so I am happy they dropped by. I can live without the apples if needs be.

  5. I love the fuzzy moths, they look like rich women with their fur coats on. Great captures! Can we see your moth trap? I’ve not seen one before.
    I’ve neglected answering your comment, as I wanted to give you an informative answer. Coming today! 😉

  6. I understand it was quite a surprising win for him. And that he is “renegotiating membership in the European Union”. I wonder what that will mean? Peace for moths, and their gardens, hopefully. These moths are gorgeous! The first would have given me a fright, in spite of myself.

  7. Moths with hairy…err, scaly…legs are my favorite. This tussock is a real looker, Andrew…in a frightening sort of way. Can it do the can can?
    I will be having nightmares over the cockchafers.

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