Peppered Moth

The invariably unsuitable weather-too windy-has prevented me running the Country Park moth trap for a week, but I have caught a few moths in our Fairlight garden. These actually included two new garden micro-moths, both tortrices: the Codling moth [whose larvae damage apples], and Lobesia litorella.

Rather less obscure, and a lot bigger, was this Peppered Moth, a species I also caught in HCPNR on July 5. This species is famous for “industrial melanism”-the phenomenon whereby  black forms came to predominate in industrial areas, eg in 1895 98% of Peppered Moths in Manchester were dark ones. The theory is that black ones were less visible to birds on sooty tree trunks and so became the dominant form by natural selection.Improvements in air quality have greatly reduced this proportion in such areas. I’ve never seen a black one in 10 years trapping in SE England.

This one is resting on our white wall and is therefore quite obvious-though not as much as a black one would be…

Peppered Moth on white wall-Fairlight

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One response to “Peppered Moth

  1. The only peppered moth f.carbonaria I’ve ever seen have all been in Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve and all at Warren Cottage. The picture shows just how conspicuous they are when resting on the white walls of the cottage.

    peppered moth f.carbonaria, warren cottage, 20050802

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