Monday, 5 October 2015

Black rustic, frosted orange and beautifully patterned greens! It must be autumn!

I put the moth trap out over the weekend and despite the temperature dropping to four degrees, I had a reasonable catch!

Black Rustic

Top of the billing was a record 55 Black rustics - a sooty black moth with a couple of slightly orangey new moon shapes on the main wing. They are a classic autumn moth, flying only in September and October and although a common species, it is good to see them doing so well.

Frosted Orange 

Two Frosted Orange moths also put in an appearance, which was great as I always think that if you had to design an "autumn coloured moth" then you would probably come up with a Frosted Orange! What a great name too! Once again they predominantly fly in September and October and although not numerous, are quite a common moth.

A Merveille du Jour - one of my favourite moths!

But then, hiding away on almost the last egg carton to be taken out of the trap was the "wonder of the day" - and one of my favourite moths - a Merveille du jour!  This is such a stunning creature with the most beautiful patterned mix of greens and black, designed specifically for it to disappear when sitting on a lichen clad tree trunk!

The Merveille du jour is the least common of these three autumnal moths, being relatively thinly spread, but when it does turn up in a September or October moth trap, especially if it has recently hatched out and is in pristine condition, it really gladdens the heart!

I hope you enjoy seeing these hidden gems of the autumn night!



  1. I am getting Black Rustic in 1s and 2s not so far away in Shawford. I had my first Clifden Nonpareil this weekend. Still waiting for your other two. Love Frosted Orange.

  2. Great to see the Merveille du Jour. I managed habitat for it for six years in Cornwall (Herodsfoot Valley) without ever seeing one!