Wednesday, 10 August 2016

(What seems to be a) Red Underwing Moth at NT Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

A flint-faced wall provides the perfect camouflage

We were having a picnic lunch last Saturday by the church wall in the Oxburgh Hall car park when we noticed this fine but camouflaged creature. It was large and although it remained pretty still, we observed some small movements.

I looked and looked at moth pictures on my return home without much success. Eventually my eyes alighted on a photograph of a Red Underwing, and I felt fairly confident that this was the species in question.

Sadly we never saw even the tiniest flash of red which is there to warn predators, but the outer markings alone seem to make this a likely ID when considered alongside the identification offered on the iSpot site.

Just look at those stripes on the legs! But what a shame we failed to see a parting of the wings.

Apparently this species frequently rests on walls. It is just one of the 300 varieties of Noctuid Moths, the largest family of macro-moths here in Great Britain. We noticed the moth near the trees in the background of the photo below. The churchyard of the 14th century church of St John the Evangelist lies beyond.

Oxburgh Hall lies in the Breckland village of Oxborough. You can read about it here.

NT Oxburgh Hall

Postscript: on the subject of moths, I found this extraordinary article about camouflage, genes and pigment adaptation to surroundings. Do take a look!


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

They are beautiful, pretty sure it is one, I came across one on our fence having a snooze in daytime. They are large for a non hawkmoth species and yes, they are gorgeous when on full display.

karen gimson said...

we have some beautiful moths in the garden. I would love to learn more about them and be able to identify them.

Ragged Robin said...

I haven't seen one but looking at moth id sites it looks like one - great sighting. Very interesting article via the link :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Now that is fantastic camouflage ... well spotted to, so you could get a photograph.

All the best Jan