Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rosy footman lays eggs

I found a rather battered female rosy footman moth (Miltochrista miniata) hanging from a grass blade over Troy Track today. As the photo shows she was laying eggs, eggs that confirm the description give in Stokoe (1948):

"somewhat spindle-shaped, rich yellow in colour and placed on end with great regularity, at a little distance from each other, in rows of generally three to five eggs in each row."

The moth had obviously read the book.

The caterpillars eat lichens on trees, so this little creature's endeavours are a triumph of hope over adversity. It will all be worth it if I collect the clutch and distribute the hatchlings in the medlar tree that has a good vestiture of lichen.

Stokoe, W. J. (1948) The Caterpillars of British Moths. Frederick Warne, London & New York

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