Friday, June 08, 2007

A ghost moth (Hepialus humuli)

I was with a friend at Emthree early this evening when I noticed something sticking out of the ground near the heather plant in The Waste. It was a pupal case (see top picture) and my friend almost immediately spotted the impressive moth that had hatched out of it.

It is a ghost moth (Hepialus humuli) and said to be common, though it is some years since I have seen one here.

The females ase a patterned orange colour and only the males white. They are indeed a ghostly sight as they hover the meadow grass at dusk.

One thing puzzles me: the pupal case was in a rather bare part of Great Plantain Desert and I wonder where on earth the underground larva found enough roots to eat. It certainly did not seem to kill or weaken anything.

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