Sunday, 26 May 2013

What's in a name?

Tonight looks quite promising, but last night was fairly poor. However, it did bring two new species for the year: Bright-line Brown-eye, and a small flock of Swallow Prominents - two of which, in fact, turned out to be Lesser Swallow Prominents. Photo hopefully showing the difference (assuming I've not committed a terrible ID error) below.

Swallow Prominent and Lesser Swallow Prominent, 25th May
It's worth saying, one of the things I most enjoy (as a bit of a linguist in my professional life) about mothing is the species' common names, many of which seem to have been invented just for the fun of it. For instance, I love the fact that as well as Bright-line Brown-eye, there's a species called Brown-line Bright-eye. And any group of creatures that includes Maiden's Blush and Blood-vein, or Confused and Uncertain, has to be worth attention (I'd love to know whether any other languages have such a rich range of moth names - I suspect not: I certainly don't know of such a tradition in French).

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