It's raining this morning, lightly. It rained a little bit yesterday too. We haven't had any thunder or lightning nearby, which is surprising considering how far the temperature has dropped. We enjoyed highs in the low 80sF yesterday, and today our high is supposed to be in the low to mid-70sF. Laissez-moi pousser un « ouf ! » de soulagement.
A moth caught my eye yesterday. It was in the kitchen, fluttering around the lights over the sink and stove. It kept flying into my face, and then it would sit very still on the white tile wall over the sink for several minutes. I grabbed my camera.
I took the top photo without using the camera's flash. Then I tried with the flash on. The moth's wingspan was about three centimeters. That's approximately 1¼ inches. As usual, you can enlarge to images to see more detail. Thanks to Tim's comment on this post, now I know it is called la Phalène picotée in French, or the Common Heath Moth in English, even though it is no longer very common.
What beautiful antennae.ReplyDelete
That was my thought too.Delete
I wasn't quite sure that antennae were olfactory devices. In fact, they are. The Net tells me some insects can smell odors miles away. Wow!ReplyDelete
this lovely moth is a rarely seen, dark form of the Common Heath (Ematurga atomaria atomaria)...
which is no longer common... in fact Faune Touraine has a "search" on at the moment for recordings of these...
the Latticed Heath is easily confused with the normally coloured Common Heath.... allegedly.... can't see it myself as the Latticed holds its wings vertically like a butterfly...
The dark form seems to appear later [June, July & early August]...
than the stripey one [May & June].
My book gives the forewing length as 15mm... which would give a wingspan of 3cm!!
Thank you, Tim. I knew I could count on you to identify this moth. Can you report it to Faune Touraine? Or can I, with a link to my photos? It's called la Phalène picotée in French.Delete
I'm not sure if it should be phalène or Phalène. And apparently some authors use it in the masculine, un phalène...Delete
I like it that you take photos of them rather than kill them.
It's just a moth. It doesn't bite or sting.Delete
I would not like the moth flying into my face. No thanks.ReplyDelete
It's just a moth. It doesn't bite or sting. It's a papillon de nuit — a "night butterfly" — in French, as you know.ReplyDelete
Beautiful coloring on the wings, and I like the non-flash picture better. I have a butterfly net, picked up ages ago at a yard sale or some such, and have had occasional success using it to get flying critters back outside -- when I remember it.ReplyDelete
I think the two photos complement each other. I like both.Delete
Agreed, Ken.... but I couldn't have identified it from the first one... it needed the flash to show the colours!Delete