This little fellow – the Common Heath Moth or Ematurga atomaria from the family group ‘Thorns, Beauties and Allies’ (Ennomines) – may have started an interest in moths for me. When I spotted him yesterday, I thought he was a butterfly but it was pointed out to me that butterflies always have thin antennae with the characteristic ‘clubs’ at the end, whereas moths have a variety of antennae including these ‘feathery’ ones (thanks Midge). Apparently they are for sniffing out females.
It made me realise how little I know about these creatures. I discovered that there are around 2,500 species of moth which are either resident in the UK or migrate here from warmer climes. Amazing! There is so much I don’t know about the natural world although as Socrates allegedly said: ‘I only know that I know nothing’ (or words to that effect).
http://www.amentsoc.org/insects/fact-files/orders/lepidoptera.html (accessed 25.04.2011)
http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/Moth/440/Moth.html?MothId=108 (accessed 25.04.2011)