Leaf it alone

It's been great weather for moth trapping, and with National Moth Night over the weekend I thought I'd share some of the lovely moths that we've caught here at Knepp Wildland recently.

At this time of year the moths are beautiful autumnal hues of yellows, pinks, oranges and browns - lovely for us to look at, but for them it's a survival strategy.

This Angles Shades is well-camouflaged as it looks like a dead leaf

This Angles Shades is well-camouflaged as it looks like a dead leaf

The Sallow moth looking pretty similar to the leaf of it's namesake tree in the autumn

The Sallow moth looking pretty similar to the leaf of it's namesake tree in the autumn

As moths rest up during the day, in trees and bushes, it's a time when they're quite vulnerable, so what better way to evade predation than to blend in with the surroundings? Looking at these photos it's clear to see what they all look like: leaves!

A Frosted Orange blending in with the autumn colours

A Frosted Orange blending in with the autumn colours

The quirky-looking September Thorn looking like a raggedy leaf

The quirky-looking September Thorn looking like a raggedy leaf

The exquisitally iridescent Burnished Brass 

The exquisitally iridescent Burnished Brass 

Other moths have warning colouration, like this huge Red Underwing: it has cryptic colours when at rest but if disturbed by a predator it flashes a red petticoat to startle and deter.

A Red Underwing showing a cheeky flash of red   by Penny Green, Knepp Ecologist

A Red Underwing showing a cheeky flash of red

 

by Penny Green, Knepp Ecologist