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.

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