The "Destroying Nun" and the "Ochre-anointed red lead".

July 19, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

We've run our fancy new garden moth trap a few times this summer and picked up a few nice specimens so far.

Last night we picked up two firsts for the garden which I thought I'd briefly write a little bit about today.


Moth 1 - Black Arches Moth. Lymantria monacha. Which literally means The Destroyer (Lymantria (Grk)) Nun (Monacha (Lat)).

Rather like the Gypsy Moth, which we caught in the old trap last September and I blogged briefly about here, the Black Arches is sometimes thought of as a "pest" species as its larvae can strip trees (often oak trees) bare - and that is why it has a Generic name of Lymantria  -  it is a tussock moth species that can and does do real damage in large numbers.

That said, I love these Black Arches moths, rather like I love the pesky, pesty Hornet moths. I first saw a Black Arches (male) when one came to our campsite lantern in the New Forest a few years ago when Anna and I spent a few nights at our favourite spot in the forest - but until today I'd never seen one here in Berkshire.

The males do often come to light at night, less so the females, and they are STUNNING moths I think - in their black and white colours - which also give them their specific name of monacha - meaning Nun (as their black and white colour reminded naturalists of nuns' habits).


Moth 2 - Rosy Footman. Miltochrista miniata. Which literally means "Anointed with" (Christa, yes, like Christ, the anointed one) "red earth or miltos" (Milto) Red lead (miniata from minium).

This wee moth is simply stunning - and is yet another example, should you need one, that moths are at LEAST as fantastically-coloured as butterflies - if not more so, to be honest.

It isn't red as such though, is it?

It's more of a salmon pink.

Never mind eh?




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