Sunday, October 13, 2013

A rare visitor

There are many and various ways of guiding insects out of human dwellings when killing is not an option. One can flap hands or flick dusters. If dealing with a hornet or wasp, it is highly recommended to use a badminton bat or straw broom, either will catch the insect in its meshes and allow the wielder to guide it outside. Beware of breaking things.

With a moth, however, the exercise is more delicate. To get my friend from the bathroom to go outside, JP guided it from light to light until it was finally persuaded to join the woodshed light and then disappear as the early morning light came in over the trees.

An expert entomologist friend, a frequent visitor to La Chaise, suggested that my nocturnal admirer might have been the 'Clifden Nonpareil' (catocala fraxini) because of the blue bands on its underwings. Apparently this is a very rare moth and 'a very good find' he said, – though, of course, it found me and not the other way round.

Apparently this moth feeds on poplars of which a few are to be found in the ravine along fairway 4, most of the trees being fairly decrepit and a few have been uprooted.

A recent brief note in the Daily Telegraph (9/10/13) mentioned that the warm weather had attracted this moth, amongst other rare species, to southern England because of the warmer summer weather. If it will survive the winter in Britain, in pupae form, is another matter. At La Chaise we normally are a few degrees warmer than southern England. Note to self to keep an eye out next year for further visits.

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