Monday, 9 May 2016

Puss Moth



I have had a slow start to the mothing year, finding only one or two moths in the trap.

Last night after the warmest day so far, I was hoping for a few. Checking the trap before bed, I noticed something rather large on the window of the house.

It was a large moth ! I was soooooo excited and shouted to OH to bring a tub, normally I collect moths in a plastic toothpick jar or a tiny tub.
"quick bring a tub"
"which one ?"
"The largest one you can find !!! "



Turned out to be a Puss Moth, with the most beautiful markings I have seen.
A gentle giant, made no fuss having it's photo taken.




The eccentric beatuy of the Puss moth caterpillar, turns into an elegant Puss moth. The Puss moth (Cerura vinula) is covered with soft cat-like fur, hence the name Puss moth. The striking nature of the beautiful black and grey marbled markings, make it quite an easy moth to identify.  





Fairly widespread throughout the UK, Puss moths can usually be seen flying at night between the months of May and July. As herbivores, they mainly eat leaves from trees such as poplar, sallow and willow. Their diet, means they are most likely to be found in habitats such as woodland, park areas or even in your back garden.
The Puss moth lays a small numbers of eggs on their food plants. When the caterpillar first emerges from the egg, it’s black in colour with what looks like a long double tail extending from its abdomen.
The caterpillar then goes through several different periods of change known as Instars. Within a short period of time the caterpillar turns into a much larger, green caterpillar with a dark coloured patch, on its back.
The markings of the Puss Moth caterpillar’s face are what make them so distinctive, giving the impression of a red ringed cartoon-like face. (link) Buglife


On checking the trap in the morning , there was not a single moth to be found :(





34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank CT, stunning moth, even my OH was very excited.
      Amanda xx

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  2. Gorgeous moth Amanda and wonderful photos :) Never had one here - I think that moth would get even my family excited :)

    Not much happening here in the moth trap - although I did have a couple of Shuttle-shaped Darts which are new for year. Looks like rain tonight so have got the trap back in!



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    1. Thanks RR, we might not get the rain tonight so trap back on, have bought a cheep white gazebo and put it up tonight with the trap under, quite a few people have seen one, don't think they are often found in the trap from what I have been reading. You will have to go out with a torch next time you put the trap out.
      There was not a single moth in the trap :(
      Amanda xx

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  3. Wonderful photography. On the odd occasion I have had these in my garden. I think they are just so beautiful.
    Not many moths about here. I am hoping now the red campion is in full bloom in the garden and the nights are warm, I will start to see more.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, for the lovely comment, they are a beautiful moth. Would be a bit of a shock if one bumped into you thought. Let's hope we get some more moths soon.
      Amanda xx

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Simon you would like this moth..
      Amanda xx

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  5. Lovely photos of such a beautiful moth. We saw a puss moth on a wooden gate post here last year. It stayed there for about three days and I did enjoy studying it closely. Such amazing detail.

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    1. Thanks Wendy, nice that you have seen one to, hope mine fly's of before morning as the birds will have it, would keep a Blue tit full for a week !
      Amanda xx

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  6. Hello Amanda, gorgeous shots of a beautiful moth. It is so fuzzy and cute! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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    1. Thanks Eileen for the kind comments, have a lovely week..
      Amanda xx

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  7. I was so excited when I saw my first (and only) puss moth last year. I checked and it was during 30 days wild last June which fits perfectly with the information you've given. Great photos - you caught all the beautiful details. Here's hoping we both find more over the next few months! X

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    1. Thanks Julie, don't get the size and chunkiness of the month in a photo so great to see one, would love to see the caterpillar as they as just as impressive as the moth.
      Amanda xx

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  8. That is a beautiful moth. You captured some great angles on the little guy. Butterflies get so much attention, but moths are just as fascinating!

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    1. Thanks PP for the lovely comment, there are many beautiful moths flying at night.
      Amanda xx

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  9. What a wonderful moth and you got some great photos of it. I saw a moth on a door whilst we were out and about yesterday but didn't have my camera with me. We tried to remember what it looked like and when we got home got out the books. I think we have identified it as a Swallow Prominent moth:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie for the lovely comment, Swallow Prominent is a lovely moth too.
      Amanda xx

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  10. Wonderful shots of the puss moth showing the details and the size. Fascinating.

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    1. Thanks Linda for the lovely comment, I think the markings on this moth are stunning..
      Amanda xx

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  11. It really is a beautiful moth, lovely photos of it x

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    1. Thanks Pam for the lovely comment, you inspired me to go to Bolton Abbey this week, managed to see both Flycatcher's :)
      Amanda xx

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    2. Oh fantastic, so pleased you saw them both! :) xx

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    3. Thanks so pleased I went...
      Amanda xx

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  12. My word, what marvellous pictures! Such a stunning creature isn't it?

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    1. Thanks Toffee-apple for leaving a lovely comment, everyone liking the moth and photos, that makes me very happy.
      Amanda xx

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  13. I don't think I'd seen one before now!
    Marvelous photo's and I can see how they got the name Puss Moth, and those markings are very special.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, it was so furry, a quiet moth compared to most other moths. Just love the gold markings..
      Amanda xx

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  14. Wow! What a moth, Amanda ... and what photos!

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    1. Thanks Caroline, it is a stunner
      Amanda xx

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  15. What a stunning moth and one which I would love to get in my own trap one day! All the Kitten-type moths are rather special but this one is simply gorgeous :-)

    PS. Apologies for the lateness of my comment but things have been a bit busy for me lately!

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    1. Thanks David, looks like they don't often land in the trap but attracted by the light, one or two people had seen them on Twitter the same time as me, poped out to check the trap aat the right time. Have had the trap working since and not seen another. Most nights there has been NO moths at all :( :(
      Amanda xx

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  16. A superb moth, Amanda! So pleased for you that you found it! It's really pretty. xx

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    1. Thanks Mandy, I was so lucky to spot it, such a lovely moth.
      Amanda xx

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