Wildlife

James Lowen 

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17 Nov 2017  Seedy


Late autumn is rarely a startling period for moths - at least in inland, urban gardens. And this month's cold nights have made it particularly difficult to entice lepidopteran interest to my garden. Several nights, indeed, I have drawn a blank. Not a single moth. Occasional interlopers do make it, however. The best this week was not actually a moth, but a bug. A Western Conifer Seed Bug - large, gangly and a recent arrival in the UK - was crawling lethargically across my front door, having presumably been attracted to the previous night's moth trap. I've long wanted to see this spectacular species, which is regularly recorded at coastal watchpoints. 

Another new moth for the garden - at least, I think it's a new moth; not actually keeping a formal list doesn't help clarify things - was Sprawler. I love this insect's name. Makes me think of a slacker Trustafarian moth. It does actually sprawl - and doesn't seem very inclined to move either. 

Mothwise, the highlight has been a succession of Juniper Carpets (eight now, I think). I don't recall having seen this species before this autumn. And all the ones I've seen have been in the garden. It seems to have been a good year for the species, with several local moth-ers adding it to their garden list.

Clearly eager for the change of month, I've had a few December Moths. I love these things: gorgeously velvety and outrageously placid. So placid indeed, that one individual I released 48 hours ago is still in exactly the same place today. It hasn't moved a centimetre. (And yes, it is alive.)