Friday, 28 August 2015

Day 289 - Gloriously Spectacular Gold Spot Moths

Gold Spot Moth (Plusia festucae)
Hey everyone, it's day 289 in my year of nature hunting. A few days ago I did a post on my time at the open day at Nosterfield. I had a great day volunteering, helping out with various things around the reserve. It was all great but I have to say my favourite activity was the moth trapping and today's species was probably one of the favourite species that was caught. I have to say thanks to Jill Warwick, one of the creators of Nosterfield and Charlie the County Moth Recorder. They are so amazingly knowledgeable about moths and very patient with me asking lots of questions.

A total of 13 of today moth species were caught in the four traps and it was one of the most eye catching. The spots you can see in the photo really were like spots of gold. If I hadn't given it away already I'm talking of course about he Gold Spot Moth!

So, what did I find out when I researched them:
  • They are a reasonably large moth with a wingspan of 34-46mm
It has a wonderful tuft on its head
  • You can find them in most areas of the UK.
  • It likes damp habitats and it favourite places to live are fens, water meadows and river banks.
  • The adults are found generally at night between May and September.
  • In the south there may be two generations a year but there is only one.
  • Its scientific name is Plusia festucae which translates as a rich eater of fescue grass.
  • This isn't its only diet though the larvae will eat a range of plants found in the damp habitats they like.
  • It is a really colourful moth but it's underwings are quite plain. I didn't get a photo of that though as this one didn't want to move of this stick.
View from above.
Well, for such a nice moth it was hard to find out information about it. Try these sites if you want to see more photos.

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful find Zach - the colours are stunning! - Tasha