Little Brown Moths

dropping mothTHIS SMALL moth, black arches, appears to be disguised as a bird dropping or a dried crust of lichen. Like most moths, it holds itself flat against the surface that it is resting on so that its outline would blend seamlessly with a similar background.

old leaf moth


The large yellow underwing seems to have gone to a lot of effort in the design of its veins, tufts, random blemishes and high ‘collar’ to give itself a resemblance to a dry, dead leaf. It sat tight the whole time that I was drawing it so I didn’t get to see it flash its hindwings.


A restless little moth flies around in the container that I’ve put it in. It looks like a smaller, less distinct version of the double square-spot moths that often turn up in the moth trap.

The least distinct of this batch of moths.


Its slightly smaller companion in the container isn’t so restless. This little moth has a double-wave pattern on its wings.

The nearest thing that I can see in the book in a pine processionary but we’re nearer to broadleaved woodland so I think that is unlikely.


Finally another small moth and the least distinct in this batch. Whenever a moth like this turns up I’m tempted to call it an ingrailed clay as that species is so varied in size and pattern, but there are a lot of similar looking moths. It’s evidently a design classic, one that ensures the moth’s survival.

Also caught in the trap this morning: peppered moth (light form as always), flame, heart and dart, double square-spot, shoulder-striped wainscot and a second large yellow underwing which did show its colourful hindwings as it flew away.

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