Moths in July

Antler Moths will appear often in some numbers on heathy grassland and moorland this month. The white markings on a dark brown background resemble antlers. They come to light but are often disturbed while walking.

 There are several 'Yellow Underwings', all with cryptic and variable brown markings on the fore-wing for camouflage, but in flight they show the bright orangy-yellow hind wing. The Large Yellow Underwing occurs in great numbers  in many years, and may be that familiar creature which scuttles away like a mouse and gives you a jump when it's disturbed during weeding the garden.

There are other 'yellow underwings': the Broad-bordered (illustrated here), Lesser, Lesser Broad-bordered, Least, and the smallest of all, the day-flying Small.

Abundant in our old oak woodlands is the Black Arches, a handsome black and white moth. The male greatly out-numbers the larger female (or is it that they come to light more readily so we see them more often?) He has feathered antennae, she has pink spots on the underside of her abdomen.