If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

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!

24 April, 2014

Early Grey: just my cup of tea!

One does not generally see a lot of moths in the day time. In summer there are day flying species but most moths like to find a quiet, dark place in the middle of a bush to spend the daylight hours away from potential predators. I was surprised, then, that this little chap (about half an inch long) spent the day asleep on a fence post in our garden. I should not have been surprised however, as a reference to my moth book said
; "Rests by day on fences, tree-trunks and rocks." and this is exactly what this one did!
The early grey (Xylocampa areola) is a resident species that over winters as a pupae and has a single brood that is on the wing from mid-March to early May. It inhabits woodlands, commons and gardens and is moderately common and widely distributed in southern England. It is partial to the blossom of sallow and there is plenty of that about in spring here in Dorset. The larvae food plant is both wild and cultivated species of honeysuckle, also common here.
The early grey has a lovely furry 'hair cut' and woolly socks, just right for those cold early spring nights.
Related Post: