Friday, 4 September 2015

Day 296 - Fabulously Gorgeously Marked - Feathered Gothic Moths

Feathered Gothic Moth (Tholera decimalis)
Hey everyone! Day 296 and I'm going to cover something I promised to do when I covered my day helping out at Nosterfield Local Nature Reserve Open Day. I had a little surprise related to this today, my picture was in our local paper! There was a nice little article about the open day and a photo of all the volunteers. Anyway, as you probably know I was helping out with the moth trapping and one of the species that was found that was new to the reserve was today's species - the Feathered Gothic Moth. It's a very pretty moth and it has some fantastic antennae.

So what did I find out about these lovely creatures:

The Feathers - fantastic antennae
  • The wings of these moths have a lovely white tracing which looks a bit like the stone parts of abbey or church windows and is why they have the Gothic part of their name, if I remember what Jill and Charlie told me right. 
  • The feathered bit of the name is because they have some fantastic antennae, see the pictures!
    A side view, zoom in to see the hairs
  • I found a site that said that in the 1850's they were renamed. Before this they were in a genus Heliophobus which means 'Dread of the Sun' - that fits very well with their Goth image!
  • They are most common in the South of England but get less common as you go North and don't seem to like it in the highlands of Scotland.
  • You will find them in August and September, this is when they are 'on the wing'.
  • The larvae eat grass. when they are little they eat the leaves and as they get older they will eat the stems.
  • Habitats they like to live include lowland areas, rough grassland and woodland
Setting it free I got a great bugs eye view
  • They have a wingspan of 38-48mm
  • As they fly quite late in the year they overwinter as an egg.
If you want to see more pictures try these sites, I think I've covered all the facts I could find!

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Stunning moth and what a pretty name for them too! Great photos as always Zach! - Tasha

  2. Thank you, Zach. What a delight! And congratulations on your newspaper appearance! You could not have created a better tribute for this lovely creature, with the artful photos, the scientific details, and the history of my new favorite moth, "Tholera decimalis" the Feathered Gothic Moth. Indeed, the intricate white tracings and fantastic antennae of this beauty are marvels of nature to behold...and you held one! Again, thank you for your diligent and passionate efforts. Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Thanks Tasha.

    Glad you enjoyed Lauraallen :-)

  4. Thanks Tasha.

    Glad you enjoyed Lauraallen :-)

  5. Nice one, you impress whenever I read your blog. I learn something new with every post!