Friday, September 28, 2007


This is the Large Yellow Underwing moth, possibly our most common large moth in the UK. I found it on the exterior of the back door early this morning, took it inside for a photo session and will release it tonight, when it stops raining.
Unlike the Lesser Yellow Underwing, which I found (and posted on) early in the year, this moth has less well-defined oval marks (above its kidney-shaped marks) on its forewings, and exhibits a black mark near the posterior of the forewings, which doesn't quite touch the wing margins. (That will be quite important in terms of identification, if I am ever lucky enough to find and photograph a Lunar Yellow Underwing Moth)! It has bold yellow/orange underwings bordered by a black margin. Visit my photo and post on the Large Red Underwing, and substitute an orangey-yellow colour for the bright red found on that moth's underwings, and you'll get the idea. Both moths use these bright colours as a predator deterrent.

The Large Yellow Underwing is a fat, chunky moth, (as can be seen from the last picture I took). A Noctuid moth (like the Lesser Yellow Underwing and Large Red Underwing (posted on HERE) it feeds on many wild and cultivated plants, often in gardens, and probably is the most likely candidate for the creature which deposited those unidentified eggs on the clover leaf in the "Lower Paddock"...).

It rests with its antennae folded right back under its wings (as below) and when it starts to feel a bit frisky, it unfolds them and starts to quiver its wings rapidly to warm up and start to fly (see second picture).

Its numbers are boosted in the south of the UK by migratory Large Yellow Underwings, but it is fair to say that if you find a large brown moth in your house, chances are it will be this one.

NB. (later). Just in case you were wondering if I did manage to successfully release the little niblet or not - here's proof...

You can just about make out a flash of the moth's yellow underwings in this shot, as it quivered, readying itself for take-off...

I popped the moth under the hide (which is incidentally falling to bits, and will be thrown in next doors skip this week I think); it immediately perked up, uncurled its antennae, took a short stroll, quivering its wings, and flew strongly into the large Lime tree above. Where it was promptly eaten by a blackbird. XXX(Not really).

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