Garden News

Moths

Juliets Jottings roundallWildlife enthusiast and resident volunteer at Exbury, Juliet, describes the different types of moths that inhabit our gardens.

"I haven't written much about the moths that inhabit the garden, as most visitors do not see them. Apart from the fact that they mostly fly at night (although quite a few are easily disturbed in the daytime) they are masters of camouflage. When at rest they choose roosting spots where their intricate markings blend in closely with the background, making them very hard to pick out. Plain brown moths often hide in the leaf litter; green ones in the grass or on a leaf, and many choose lichen, where their outline is broken up and their shape is disguised. The object of this camouflage is to avoid predators particularly birds, hornets, wasps and other carnivorous insects".

Buff tip Dark-barred twin-spot carpet Iron Prominent Large Emerald Brussels Lace 2 Brussels Lace Beautiful Hooktip

"A particularly charming moth is the Buff Tip (image 1), which looks like a piece of broken birch twig. The Dark barred Twin-spot Carpet moth is almost invisible on some bark (image 2), while the Iron Prominent is resting on lichen (image 3). Not so successful is the Large Emerald, looking quite exposed on its green leaf (image 4), but the spectacular green Merveille du Jour has found exactly the right background to disguise itself (image 5). Two Oak Beauties picked a spot on some old wood and could themselves be taken for patches of lichen (image 6). Gravel may not appear to be a natural resting place for a moth, but the Brussels Lace would be really hard to see here (image 7)".

"There are many, many more examples of moths in places where they are impossible to see, but if you would like to entice a few to your house, just leave an outside light on all night and you may find some visitors on the walls or door in the morning".

"Thanks to Richard Coomber for providing a number of these photos".

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‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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