Thursday, 29 October 2015

Day 349 - Obviously So Magnificent - Orange Swift Moth

Orange Swift Moth (Triodia sylvina)
Hey everyone, today's Day 349 and I went to the Nosterfield Open Day, it was quite a while ago now that I think about it, almost 65 days! When I was there, though, I was granted the great job of helping to man the Moth traps. Specifically, I was told to put one of almost each species of Moth into the jars so people could look at them later. It also helped with me being able to take pictures at the end before I released them again. I learnt a lot about the different species. This lovely Orange Swift Moth turned up in the Moth trap too!

So, here are the facts:

  • As in most Moths and Insects I have covered, they are quite common in England and getting less so the further North and West you go.
A side view
  • Weirdly, they are found on all of the islands around Britain, such as the Isle of Wight, but not Ireland.
  • They apparently fly later in the year than most of the 'Swift' moths. Some examples of these moths are: The Gold Swift and the Common Swift.
  • The time that it flies most commonly is from July to September. But of course they may be seen a couple of months either side of this time scale.
  • In total they have been seen with wingspans 32mm - 48mm, but, again, there will have been cases where they are bigger.
  • Adding on to this fact, they do have a case of sexual dimorphism. The Males are actually smaller than the Females.
  • They also have marked sexual dimorphism. In this case the Males are actually more brightly coloured than the Females.
  • They inhabit mostly Gardens, Woodlands, Grasslands, Moorlands and even the verges on the side of roads!
  • They choose these habitats as the larvae feed on the roots of herbaceous plants like bracken, dock and dandelion amongst others.
  • They can spend two winters as larvae before the pupate, which they do underground.
And a bugs eye view :-)
  • As adults they don't live long apparently as they have a short proboscis and can't feed - that seems to be a bit of a design flaw!
  • There are apparently 500 species of Swift moth family (Hepialidae) in the world but we only get 5 in the UK.
Here are some links to some more information:

NatureSpot - Orange Swift 

Hope you enjoyed,