Saturday, August 4, 2012

Eggars Extraordinaire!

The Eggar family consists of some of our most fascinating moths, and there were two representatives in the moth trap this morning which are both new to me. The giant on the left is a female Oak Eggar. The moth on the right is a more diminuitive male Lackey.

I popped out to check the moth trap before going to bed yesterday evening and, as I peered over the edge, the Oak Eggar flew past my ear and straight in! It tends to be females which turn up in moth traps, the males often zipping about during the day. You can't see the abdomen in this photo but it's pretty thick and must be full of eggs which she will scatter about as she flies.

The Oak Eggar larvae feed on a number of trees & shrubs....but not Oak, funnily enough! The name comes from the cocoon's similarity to an acorn! And 'Eggar' refers to it's similarity to an egg. There's an interesting article in Somerset Life that includes a photo of the cocoon.

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