Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Brief seasons

In my previous post I showed an image of the December Moth and mentioned that they had emerged immediately after a thaw. Within 24 hours of the photograph, we were plunged into the coldest spell of weather in over 20 years. I haven't seen a single specimen since - and I have read similar reports from elsewhere, so I suppose their local season was perhaps 48 hours long. That might just explain the urgency with which they seek a mate.

Similarly, I found a few specimens of the Winter Moth over a couple of days:

Winter Moth (male)
Again, their season appears to have been dramatically curtailed this year.

The temperature reached -17 Celsius in the garden, which is by far the lowest I have recorded here. It will be interesting to see how different species are affected by this dip in overwintering temperature: some species overwinter as eggs, some as larvae, others as pupae and some as adults, and it is difficult to predict how a lengthy period of such low temperatures will affect the various alternatives.

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