One of the reasons I like moths are their names. The names are redolent of Victorian parsonages , where I imagine bewhiskered vicars pouring over newly caught specimens and allowing themselves a rare flight of fancy, as they coin a name for their new find.
The practice still continues. A recently named moth is a type of rustic moth is called Clancy’s Rustic after Mr Clancy, who first identified it in Britain . I caught this moth in my light trap in France last year and was impressed by the gold outline of the diagnostic kidney mark on its wing.
Other moths also have wonderfully distinctive names. My current favourites are the Uncertain and the Red- necked footman. The pinky freckled moth is rather romantically called the Maiden’s Blush and the flashy spotted moth is a Scarlet Tiger. There is a dark Grey Dagger, an Old Lady , a Gypsy Moth, an Elephant Hawk moth and a Silver Cloud, to name but a few.
It is too hot to go out today so I think I will concoct a story involving an old lady with a grey dagger who fools the red necked footman into allowing the uncertain, blushing maiden to meet the scarlet tiger, before disappearing on a silver cloud pursued by a random elephant riding a huge hawk.
I think that I might have been out in the sun too much – roll on the night!