Species of the Month - November 2012
will often come to a lit window or doorway in November, and is easily
reconised since nothing else that flies at this time of year looks like
it. In fact you can probably recognise it even if it's on the
outside of your window and you're inside. In such a case it would
be best to take a photo and to measure the moth. The forewing
length of the Feathered Thorn is about 20-23 mm.
the white dots near the wing corners, and the brown dots in between the
two brown lines above them.
The male, which is more
likely than the female to come to light, has large feathery antennae.
In this example the white dots are obscure and the brown ones seem to
have worn off completely.
In late autumn and early
winter the males are flying about looking for females, and the females
are looking for sites to lay their eggs, which can be on any of a number
of common trees such as oak, willow, birch, etc. The eggs hatch in
Spring into caterpillars which eat the leaves of whatever tree or bush
they're on until about mid-June when they're ready to pupate. They
then drop to the ground and bury themselves a short way under the soil
to emerge as an adult moth in autumn.
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7 Nov, a male came to lit window overnight, Taynuilt - Carl
9 Nov, a fresh well-marked male (different to the 7 Nov one) came to the lit front door at Taynuilt - Carl
Oct 2012 - Dryad's Saddle