Monday, 26 November 2012

Beauty in minature ...

West Sussex, 2 May 2012

If you are a lepidopterist, particularly one who limits their personal interest to butterflies, there will always be days of disappointment, particularly if looking for the adult insect. Term yourself an entomologist and your eyes will be opened to a world of intense beauty, one of mystery and one of intrigue, all played out on a stage in front of your very eyes - providing they are open and receptive.

Today conditions were grey and although my target did not appear, what did was a gem to behold …

The Green Longhorn (Adela reaumurella) is a small day-flying micromoth belonging to the family Adelidae, the fairy longhorn moths. They have a wingspan of approximately 14 to 18 mm. The upper wings of both sexes are a beautiful metallic green, their under wings metallic bronze. The males have extremely long white antenna and have rough black hair on their heads. In comparison, the females have relatively short white-tipped black antenna with shorter and lighter hair on their heads. It is a fairly common species in England, Wales and southern Scotland, though more localised in Ireland. They typically fly from April to June and can often be observed flying in swarms. The larvae feed on leaf-litter and live in portable cases.

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