Carpet for sale

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 14 November 2010 11:56

I went into town yesterday, a very rare occurrence for me nowadays. I was on a mission though to scrape together some natural history sightings on the way down the hill. I spotted a moth on a for sale sign which turned out to be a late Common Marbled Carpet. It got me thinking about how attuned I am at spotting moths in the street. It seems that if you are into moths, you subconsciously look for small, dark patches of symmetry. Two things have led me to think this happens; 1). People I am with never spot moths on walls that I haven't spotted first (you could argue I am looking more though I guess) 2.) On regular routes my eyes are repeatedly drawn to 'false' moths: small, dark patches of symmetry that are not moths, like a section of peeled paint or an unusually shaped blob of chewing gum (there is even one on my front door that still gets me). Time after time I have noticed my eyes are drawn to these things and I even experience a rush of excitement at thinking I have found a moth. If there are any moth-ers out there who have noticed this, I would be interested to hear about it.
I also got this shot of a Garden Spider Araneus diadematus on a wall yesterday. Would you believe it I also had two ticks on the way into town, the Pellucid Glass Snail Vitrina pellucisa and my first harvestman Opilio parietinus. I bought the key to harvestmen last week and this is the first time I have seen one and been able to use it. It was pretty easy, being that there are only around 25 species and all the features were easy to see under the microscope although without the microscope, some things would have been impossible to see.

2 Response to "Carpet for sale"

Gilly Says:

I think you do get attuned to things. When I first went on an otter surveying course I wondered how I would ever learn the signs, now I can't walk along a river without checking for likely sprainting sites and am amazed at the way my eye is subconsciously drawn to even a couple of fish scales.

Anonymous Says:

Two beautiful insects.
Common Marbled Carpet Moth - the right name to be on a house for sale sign !

Garden spider, hes beautiful. Looks like his rhymes name sake, incy wincy spider.


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