Burnished Brass and Red-green Carpet

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450-moth-trap

No, these are not the latest buzzwords of interior designers, they were two of the moths we met on National Moth Night 2009 at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. Berkshire Moth Group had an interesting night, with 20 people attending to watch the moths descend to our lamps. 

Green Carpet

Red-Green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata)

Many moths have elaborate and strange English names, sometimes related to their caterpillar food plants but more often they refer to appearance. For example, Oak Hook-tip caterpillar feeds on oak and the adult has hook-tipped wings. But to me, many moth monickers are meaningless! At least two that make sense are the Red-green Carpet and Burnished Brass. I must say that the photo of Burnished Brass, below, doesn’t capture the metallic quality of this awesomely beautiful creature.

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass caterpillars often feed on Stinging Nettle or a range of other herbaceous species such as wild marjoram, deadnettles, or Lesser Burdock. Red-reen Carpet grubs feed on the leaves of various trees and shrubs including oak, ash, lime, birches, blackthorn, cherry, and rowan (many of the rose family).

Wandering from lamp to lamp

Everyone set their light traps at different places between the Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre and the lake. from 7.30pm until 12.30am we visited each other’s lamps to see what had arrived. Apart form the many moths we also saw craneflies, sawflies, caddisflies, dung beetles and midges.

BMG kindly sent the farm a full species list from the event. Read their moth list and article.

checking for moths

Checking for moths - they hide in the egg trays!

Words and pictures by Jason Ball

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2 Responses to “Burnished Brass and Red-green Carpet”

  1. Martin Harvey Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Just seen this blog entry, and wanted to say thanks for hosting such an enjoyable event. You’re quite right that we did see Green Carpet, but your photo here is of Red-green Carpet, a subtly different species! An account of the evening is now up on the Berkshire Moth Group website:
    http://is.gd/45uNL

    • sheepdrove Says:

      Hi Martin,
      Ah, thanks to your expert eye, I have now corrected the piece!
      We’re grateful for the full list, now received, and it’s good to see your article the up on the Berkshire Moth Group website.
      – Jason.

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