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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

01 April, 2012

Orange Underwing (Archiearis parthenias)

Some insects seem to break all the assumptions we make about nature. Moths fly by night? No, not true. Several species fly by day and the Orange Underwing is one you can find on bright sunny days. Moths are summer insects? Again, not true. There are moths that can be found in the middle of winter as they have a form of 'anti-freeze' in their blood and the Orange Underwing is found in March and April. Moths are drab coloured insects? Again, totally untrue. Many species disprove this but even the drably coloured top wings of the Orange Underwing part slightly, to reveal the most glorious golden orange on the underwings. Orange Underwing for good reason!

The Orange Underwing is widespread and locally common in Britain but is, perhaps, not seen that often as it likes to fly friskily along woodland rides quite high up and at a level where the casual observer might not see them; I was lucky to find this one at rest on the ground so was able to photograph it.

They favour birch but also visit sallow blossom and late March is certainly the time for that.