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

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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!

29 January, 2016

Red Twin-spot Carpet: lights out

Being a light sleeper it does not take a lot to disturb the red twin-spot carpet moth (Xanthorhoe spadicearia) from its day time slumbers. If you do wake one and it flutters to another spot to go back to sleep then following it can prove pretty tricky as they find a way of hiding very quickly! If you are fortunate enough to follow it then it is an ideal time to get a good look. 
The red twin-spot carpet is quite common and is found in bushes and hedges. They are not attracted to light and so seeing them during the day when disturbed is the best way to see them. They have two broods here in the south, the first flying from May to June and their off-spring are on the wing from Mid July until the end of August. The Geometrid moths are generally known as carpet moths, not because the larvae infest your carpet, but because they rest with their wings open and have lovely intricate designs, a bit like best Axminster or Wilton! 
This one give the distinct appearance of being primarily red in colour and it has two twin spots on the outer corner of each wing. That is why it is the red twin-spot carpet moth!
Red Twin-spot Carpet: lights out