Since its summer we can be permitted a little idle entomologising. Last summer I was delighted to find for the first time mint moths (Pyrausta aurata) in my garden. These are small, beautifully patterned in various shades of ochre, indigo and brown, day-flying moths. They live on mint or pretty well any labiate flowers. The reason for their appearance was the clumps of marjoram that have thrived in our small North London garden for over 25 years.
Two weeks ago a different moth appeared. It had wavy cream patterns on a bluish-black, backround, with yellow on the head and barred on the body. I should have guessed that it’s a relative but only just worked it out when I found two of them this morning. This is the Wavy-barred Sable (Pyrausta nigrata). It is a native of chalk downland so it’s wonderful to find it in North London, blown in from the Chilterns or North Downs.
I have always loved the fauna and flora of chalk down land so to find that it is coming to me rather than me having to go to Box Hill is very gratifying. Summer days are here at last.