Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Autumnal moths

Considering that most insects need heat before they can move, it never ceases to amaze me that some species don't emerge until it's almost time for a frost. This is the Small Autumnal Moth - Epirrita filigrammaria.

And this is the November Moth - Epirrita dilutata, in a colour form that makes it paler than the virtually indistinguishable Pale November Moth.

I suppose it means that there is less competition for food, but it seems a risky strategy.


Yoke, said...

Less competition for food sounds risky to me also when you consider the foods available this time of year.
I'll keep my eye out for these Moths.

Stuart said...

I suppose there are fewer predators and parasites around now, too.

These late moths all overwinter as an egg, with larvae hatching quite early (April). Maybe that's a clue.

Gill said...

But more cars - moths don't seem to have learnt how to avoid those yet. I end up with my windscreen plastered with the sticky remains of the poor things every evening.

Peter Archdale said...

It is a careful balancing act between the energy needed to generate heat to allow their body to function and the energy available, both stored internally and available externally. Epirrita spp. can often be found nectaring on ivy.

Susannah Anderson said...

Hi, I have just posted the carnival, "The Moth and Me #8", on my blog, "Wanderin' Weeta". This post has been included. Great photos!