Hamble Campbell's Home Page

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The beautiful names of moths

Apparently someone is trying to count the moths in Britain. Good luck to them. The most interesting moth I've seen (maybe because it is out and about before my bed time) is the humming bird hawk moth. I saw it a few years ago in the Isle of White and the year before last in my own back garden. It looked just like it says on the tin.

I have a wonderful book on moths, with a great many pictures of little brown-winged creatures - "Moths of the British Isles by Bernard Skinner". I am too stupid to be able to actually identify anything with it but I love it for its descriptions and lists of names.

I wonder where these very poetic names sprang from - so many original and fascinating tags. I will give you a few examples, though if you were to look up their pictures you would almost find a little brown-winged creature staring back at you, defiant beside his label.

Don't these sound lovely? - The Anomalous, Goosefoot Pug, The Geometrician, Northern Drab, Four-dotted Footman, Flounced Rustic, May Highflyer, Autumnal Snout, Beautiful Carpet, Confused, Conformist, Essex Y, Tissue, Weaver's Wave (I had to include him), Oak Lutestring, Old Lady, Passenger, Vapourer etc etc.



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