Sunday 20 May 2018

Emperor Moth

Emperor Moth - male.
Once again, a big thank you to Martin. We met up on East Budleigh Common, where Martin deployed a pheromone lure, to attract Emperor Moths. We weren't sure if it would be successful, as I've only seen a couple male Emperors on the commons this week, and it was fairly cool and overcast this afternoon. We needn't have worried, as within a couple minutes a couple males zoomed in. We probably saw between 10 and 20 in total, and I managed to catch the above individual. As you can see it's a really beautiful species, and even though I've seen countless photos and illustrations, it's still breath-taking to see one in the flesh.
The males have an extremely fast flight, but you can see the orange hindwings on them, and occasionally even the eye-spots. As they approach the lure they frequently change direction. Nick pointed out that they make adjustments in their flight path as their antennae pick up different concentrations of pheromone in each antennae.
Heath-spotted Orchid

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for calling me over to see this one Matt - an amazing experience to see it.
    If anyone wants more info on the way the pheromones work and how the male moths operate to pick them up, I recommend these two online articles: