When Pugs Fly… Creatures of the Night
With it being too hot to do anything much during the daytime recently, and feeling inspired by the flutterings of micro moths in my bedroom, I’ve decided to embrace the darkness. I’ve always loved the night. Perhaps it’s something to do with being a moon sign, or maybe it’s the silence. Whatever it is, my mind comes alive when the sun goes down, and it’s not the only thing.Armed with a bright LED light panel and my camera I went out into the cool night air, hoping for moths but equally as intrigued by what else I might find.
Armed with a bright LED light panel and my camera I went out into the cool night air, hoping for moths but equally as intrigued by what else I might find.
After feeling pretty disheartened by the lack of insect life in my garden during the daytime, it was exciting to see it transform from a ghost town to a bustling insect city come nightfall. Everywhere I looked things scuttled around. Centipedes stalked their prey whilst spiders spun webs in preparation for a night laying in wait for their food to come to them.
Despite the dry weather, slugs and snails were out in abundance too, undoubtedly eager to refuel on my plants. On the plus side, this means they will be plump and juicy for the birds who have had to make do with the seeds and dehydrated mealworms I’ve put out for them to supplement their diet whilst the weather has been so dry. The hot weather has driven worms further and further underground and the birds have been understandably annoyed by the lack of succulent food in their diets.
Moths are among my favourite creatures and I was hoping the bright light might attract them. A few turned up, but I only managed to grab photos of those that settled as I was trying to juggle holding a light and focusing a camera in the dark. I hope to one day own a moth trap, but for now, a bright light at least allows me to get a closer look at some local nightlife beyond the drunks staggering back from the pub.
The amazing Twitter account UK Moth Identification lived up to their name and quickly provided me with positive IDs for those I did manage to get photos of, confirming my initial thoughts that the green beauty above was a Common Emerald, and informing me of the names of the two I wasn’t previously aware of. My knowledge of moths is lacking, but I’m gradually becoming more educated. Hopefully, soon I’ll be able to buy the moth ID books I’ve had my eye on!
I LOVE that one is called a Common Pug, it conjures up all kinds of mental images about little pug puppies in flying helmets (or perhaps I’m just strange – don’t answer that). It’s a species I’ve since learnt has a number of subspecies.
The other visitor of the night was a couple of male Bee Moths, a micro moth that gets its name due to the larvae feeding on the contents and debris of bee and wasp nests.
Over the summer I’m hoping for some more warm and dry nights so I can come better acquainted with the creatures of the night.