Monday, 17 June 2013

Bailing out an Elephant

On Saturday night (15th) I put my moth trap out to record moth as part of the Garden Moth Scheme. At 10:30 pm I went out to have a look to see if any moths had arrived early and I was thoroughly pleased to see an Elephant Hawkmoth sitting on an egg box. I hadn't recorded one if these in our garden since 2010 and I was quite surprised to see one in the trap so early in the evening.

At 10:35 pm, the heavens open and down came the rain with such force that the droplets rebounded up about 30 cm off the shower proof lamp shield. It makes you think that the Elephant Hawkmoth sensed the change possibly in atmospheric pressure, temperature or an increase in air moisture, but it rode out the downpour in the relevatively dry trap. It is always nice to stand out outside on a dry or warm evening to watch the moths fly in and around the garden. Their flying behaviour across the species is quite variable and as they stop at particular plants, you can start to guess which species they are. However, Saturday night was not one of those nights unless you had a dry suit!

Later as I dosed off to sleep, again the roar of the rain could be heard through the window as the next downpour arrived. The next morning I didn't know what to expect as I opened the back door and peered into the trap. Each egg box valley was half to three quarters full of water and generally everything outside was soggy. Next question - would they be any moths left?

The minimum overnight temperature was 8.7°C and there were still moths present in the trap.

Peppered Moth 1
Elephant Hawkmoth 1
Buff Arches 1
Buff Ermine 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Pale Prominant 1
Garden Carpet 1
Heart & Dart Moth 2
Rustic Shoulder-knot 1
Cabbage Moth 1
Celyhpa Lacunana 1

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