Crimson Speckled!!!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 4 October 2011 21:20

I was not expecting to see this moth this morning. Michael and I went moth trapping near Beachy Head last night looking for rare migrant moths. We didn't see much last night but went to sort the traps this morning. A few nice things were in the grass around the first trap including a Convolvulus Hawk-moth and my first ever Palpita vitrealis. We put it in a pot for a photograph later. There were perhaps six Vestals present too. We went on to the next trap and had two Scarce Bordered Straws, this nice looking Ni Moth and another Convolvulus.
So rather an impressive haul. What happened next verged on the farcical. I attempted to get a photo of vitrealis. I went for a record shot first as it was a lively individual. Here it is. Pretty little thing but who likes photos of moths in pots? Not me. So, I attempted to get it onto a dark background and it flew off very quickly into a hedge!
I dashed round to the hedge and was tapping the hedge with my net hoping to dislodge it again. However, what actually happened was that I found myself staring at a Crimson Speckled! What an amazing looking moth and something that I thought I would never see. The photo is of the moth at rest where I found it. What I love about this though is there is a very good chance we would never have seen it if I hadn't let the vitrealis go! It just goes to show that it's OK to make mistakes. I won't be so hard on my self in the future. I end the day on 3633 species and this is surely my natural history highlight of the year.

2 Response to "Crimson Speckled!!!"

Martin Harvey Says:

Wow, that's fantastic! What an unreal-looking moth. (Attempts, and fails, to pretend he's not jealous ...)

Skev Says:

Surreal - think I'll ditch my light traps and start kicking bushes.

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