Friday 7 January 2010
A rapid walk round Ewelme cress beds did not get me any more year "ticks" as there were just the usual Green Sandpiper, Teal and Water Rail (2). I did, however, find both my first moth of the year and a new species for the nature reserve (now totals 155). Perhaps not too surprising as we only trap in the warmer months and this was a Winter Moth. A fascinating moth with antifreeze in its veins to allow it to operate in the winter months. Females are flightless and after mating the female lays her eggs in various protected cracks and crannies (tree bark for instance) and then all the adults of that winter's generation die. Come the spring (temp ~13C) the eggs hatch and the young larvae start climbing tree trunks. When they have sufficient height they produce lengths of silk thread and use the wind to carry them to pastures new. Amazing stuff! Now to search for a female Winter Moth.