'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Saturday, 12 September 2015

Patches of Sunshine Shimmering

One time when I was at Miranda, I spent hours watching these moths sipping nectar from the bottlebrush.  I had seen bees, and wax-eyes loving the cornucopia of sweetness, but these other day-time visitors had escaped my notice.
The first I haven't yet identified but the other species I think is Thysanoplusia orichalcea, the 'Slender Burnished Brass'.  They are thought to be originally from Indonesia and spread to Australia, New Zealand and even Europe. But this might be incorrect. It's an infrequent visitor to the UK.  My investigations have suggested fewer than 100 have made it so far to those green and pleasant shores. There would have been that number just on the one huge Callistemon tree at Miranda.

I love the way the iridescent patches of gold are actually transparent when viewed at a certain angle, and then almost totally golden mirror-like at another.
Interestingly, the constant movement of the brass, combined with the extreme brightness of the flashes of gold which played Bob's-a-dying* with my camera's light meter, meant that out of hundreds of shots I got very few worth keeping.

I hope you enjoy the late summer crickets in my video clip too.
And then, if you have nothing better to do, I challenge you to say the title of this post ten times.

Unknown moth.  Poss. one of the Chrysodeixis spp?

Thysanoplusia orichalcea in the groove

Thysanoplusia orichalcea

Thysanoplusia orichalcea

* the original form of bobsy-die


  1. Thank you Peter M. For identifying the top moth with the pretty, dark markings. It's Chrysodeixis eriosoma.

  2. We have Humming Bird Hawk Moths here which look to be a relative of the one in your video.

  3. I have plenty of photos of Humming Bird Hawk Moths too but I've never managed a video like that: splendid.


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