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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‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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