The past few days has seen the emergence of hundreds of White Satin moths at Ainsdale. This event, known as ‘an irruption’ is very localised and occurs over an area not much bigger than a football pitch.
From Mid-May onwards the caterpillars can be seen munching on the young leaves of the scrub willow. When fully grown they spin a loose web and prepare to pupate,
The pupa are black and shiny with tufts of yellow hair.
A few weeks later the moths begin to emerge from the pupa.
They then begin to pump up their wings, the wing expansion phase.
During this phase the wings are a lovely buttery yellow colour. They are also not going anywhere and it is a chance to get in close with your camera. When fully expanded the wings have the beautiful satin look from where the moth gets its name.
As soon as they are able to fly they are off in search of a mate.
Shortly afterwards the female lays her eggs and the cycle starts all over again,
An unforgettable experience.