The Swallows may have flown and butterflies and dragonflies are fluttering to the end of another year’s activity, but autumn is an exciting time for moths. Many of our most beautiful and intricately marked species are on the wing at this time of year.
Some autumn moths are beautifully camouflaged to match the changing leaves. The yellows, oranges and pinks of species such as the Centre-barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow (below), Barred Sallow and Feathered Thorn, enable these moths to blend in perfectly among the autumn leaves.
The Angle Shades moth takes the subterfuge one step further, being not only coloured like autumn leaves but also folding its wings in such a way as to resemble a curled dead leaf. This moth is often encountered during the day as it tends to rest in exposed positions, such as on walls and fences.
Perhaps most glorious of all, the wonderfully-named Merveille du Jour, blends in perfectly among lichen-encrusted branches and rocks. It is on the wing now and regularly seen in moth traps in woodlands and gardens across Devon. Well worth keeping the moth trap going during warmer autumn evenings.