Posted by: Ross Gardner | May 30, 2016

A Little Stunner

This blog has been somewhat insect-heavy of late (a product of the time of year and a deep fascination for the small things that make the world tick), but this little beauty does a great deal to justify the continuation of such a theme……

Degeer's or Yellow-barred Longhorn (Nemophora degeerella.  Copyright 2016 Ross Gardner.

Degeer’s or Yellow-barred Longhorn (Nemophora degeerella). Copyright 2016 Ross Gardner.

Although measuring no more than a mere centimetre in length, I think most would agree that these longhorn moths are quite stunning little animals.  They are a common and very distinctive moth, not just for their striking colouration, but also for the extraordinarily long antennae of the males which is apparently the longest of any British moth or butterfly.  They are on the wing from the latter part of May until July.

And as a final note on the life cycle of these moths, there is something reassuring in the fact that despite their abundance and bold appearance, the early life and feeding habits of the caterpillars remain unknown (later instar caterpillars feed on dead leaves).  The mysteries of the natural world are present even in the familiar facets of our countryside.

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