Monday, 3 December 2012

Pupae Identification 2 - Magpie moth?

I suspect it was a Magpie Moth given the distinctive gold banding.
And that the caterpillar apparently feeds on blackthorn and hawthorn (abundant around us) makes it even more likely.

Looking for images of pupae reminds me of the incredible richness of names of British moths, names that as a child I loved poring over in my well-thumbed Collins guide to Butterflies and Moths. Here are a few choice ones:
  • Currant Short Borer
  • The Forester
  • The Festoon
  • Apple Leaf Skeletoniser
  • Cotoneaster Webworm
  • Plum Tortrix
  • Satin Lutestring
  • Argent & Sable
  • Toadflax Pug
  • Hoary Footman
I could go on. They are such beautiful, gothic names, like grand guignol characters from the pages of Mervyn Peake, reinforcing the sense that Duncan recently referenced that they inhabit some Dickensian, oil-lit world, all deep rich woods, leather bindings and shadows. I must write a song including some of these names...the Ballad of Glaucous Shears...or maybe a cycle of fiddle tunes...they are too good not to.

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