Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Day 287 - Mystically Mythical Magpie Moth

Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata) that flew off
rather than let me photograph it!
Hey everyone today's Day 287 and as you probably know, I went to the Nosterfield open day. When I was there, the morning job that me and my Dad were put on was Moth trapping. This was really fun as it was really good to see all of the different Moths, you do get a bit tired of Yellow Underwings though... Because I saw so many different types of Moths, there was about 60-70 species, I thought I would cover one that I really like. The Magpie!

This one was a bit of a tricky customer, I expected it to sit nicely on a piece of wood for me to photograph it but instead it flew off into the hedgerow. Still I was able to follow it and get a couple of shots. The rest of my moths shots are much better!

So, here are the facts:
  • They have what's actually quite a large wingspan. It can be all the way up to 45mm or 4.5cm. That's only 5mm shorter than my little finger!
  • Their caterpillars are almost the same colours and patterns as the actual Moth so if you see one of them, there's going to be no confusion!
  • It has a White base colour with wavy lines made out of Black spots, there is a small Yellow- Orange stripe down the middle and one in across the middle of its wings.
  • Another thing about the caterpillars, their colours, White, Black Yellow and Orange, are actually made to warn of predators.
  • They are only commonly found from June to August, this is one of the smallest time periods that I have seen in this blog.
Scuttling into the undergrowth!
  • They are found quite a lot in England but not much in Wales. Also, they aren't found in South Scotland at all, but they are found quite commonly in North Scotland. They're found in Ireland.
  • They are found in Farmland, Woodland, Heathland, Upland, Towns and Gardens and Grasslands. 
  • Adults eat Nectar from most Flowers, caterpillars eat Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Currant and Gooseberry Bushes.
  • They over-winter as caterpillars and pupate in May to June.

If you want to find out more about these colourful moths try these sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


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