Species of the Month - March 2013
March is the best time to see the Oak Beauty, a very distinctive moth that is rather scarce this far north. The males, with the feathery antennae as in the picture below, come to lit windows at night, or of course to a moth trap if you have one. Females rarely come to light. Either sex can sometimes be found at the base of tree trunks in the daytime. (info from Waring and Townsend 2003)
The moth is identified by the two brown bands edged with black against a spotty whitish background.
We have two sightings on record so far, one by me at Taynuilt on 17 Mar 2011, and one by Judith Witts near Inveraray on 19 Mar 2012. Both were males that came to house lights. Can we make it a hat-trick with a 2013 sighting?
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Not surpisingly, due to the very cold weather there were no sightings during March. I only had two moths to my window all month, an Early Grey on the 5th and a 20-plume Moth on the 16th.
7 Apr: Female Oak Beauty to lit window, Taynuilt. Photo below.
Note you can still send in records for past species of the month. Here is the list of species we've had so far:
Feb 2013 - Coral Lungwort