An Ode to Moths

I’m a bit nuts about moths. It was the dead greater tiger moth that I found under the rose bush when I was three that did it. I carried it into the house and nestled it’s furry body into a matchbox, occasionally opening it to marvel at the delicate powdery wings and stroke a little onto my finger tip. Their numbers have declined 89% over the last 30 years and I haven’t seen a greater tiger moth or even a normal one for over a decade.

But this entry isn’t meant to be about dead moths it is about the very live ones particularly the ‘Old Lady’ that found her way inside one late evening and suprised us flying like a bat around the flat the next morning.

Mormo maura (Old Lady) is a large herbacious and deciduous feeding moth that flies in later summer. I popped her in a box to let out under dark as she was getting a in a real flap and was so large as to be an immediate food source for the young blackbird family that feed at the back door.

Moths are in serious decline. We really need to take heed that some of our most delicate and beautiful of wild creatures, these wee winged beasties that aid their winged cousins in pollenating our beautiful flora, are compromised by human action.

What can we do? Find out more about Moths and how the British Butterfly Conservation Society is working to map and protect declining species and get planting yourself!

Moths in general adore white nectar filled flowers including ~ Flowering tobacco, Evening primrose, Sweet Williams and Wild Honeysuckle.

Day flying moths can be particularly stunning and great to attract to your garden to help your children learn about moths. This red and black 6 Spot Burnett I have found to be rather partial to purple knapweed. Another great project that you could try is the rather alarmingly named moth trap, never fear no moths are hurt during this but a wonderful array of moths can be seen and learnt about, it’s on my list of to do’s!


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