Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Day 354 - Marvellously Perfect Mother of Pearl Moths

11 days to go

Hey everyone, Day 354 today, and before I start on todays blog I want to say a big thanks to BBC Springwatch. I did a little #mypatch video and a clip was on last nights Unsprung, got a nice mention by Chris Packham too so really, really chuffed! You can see the clip here on BBC Iplayer the my patch bit at about 4 minutes in. I'm the 'Little guy in the woods in the rain' :-)

If that wasn't enough I also got asked to do a guest blog for the BBC Springwatch website which I've linked here. Please post a comment on there if you get a minute, I'd love to do some more :-).

Well after all that excitement a little update on @NormanNuthatch - bit worrying today, he flew into the window! After a bit of a rest he was alright but Mum had to keep an eye on him as it took a while for him to get back to normal. I hope Normans #MyPatch video gets on Unsprung :-)

Mother of Pearl Moth (Pleuroptya ruralis)
Well now todays species, its a Mother of Pearl moth that was trapped at the Nosterfield open day! This was a lively one so I'm glad I got my bugs eye view while he was in the container. So what did I find out about these lovely moths?

  • They are found all over the UK but get less common as you travel north and west, a familiar pattern for most moths I cover.
  • They have a wingspan of 26-40mm but are classed as a micromoth, surprising then that hey have a bigger wingspan than some macromoths!
  • Mainly active at night they are attracted to light so no surprise it ended up in the moths trap!
  • Habitats it likes include gardens, wastelands, rough pastures and nettle beds.
A bugs eye view
  • They like to lay their eggs on nettles and the larvae spin the leaves together into a tube and feed out of site.
  • On Wikipedia it says the rolling action of the larvae has been studied and used to make next gen robots that can roll.
  • I think this refers to a tactic its larvae use to escape predators - if they meet a predator they anchor their rears to the ground, recoil rapidly making themselves in to a circle and roll away. 
  • Apparently this allows them to move away from the predator 40 times more quickly than it would if it crawled!
And another but not so good
  • They fly from June to September depending on location.
  • Their name comes from the lustre (good word) of their wings in sunlight which have a colourful rainbow like effect like mother of pearl!
So that's about all I could find out but form more photos and facts try:

Hope you enjoyed.


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