White Satin Moths at Ainsdale.

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.

A. Caterpillar

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,

C, Preparing to PupateB. Preparing to pupate

The pupa are black and shiny with tufts of yellow hair.

D. Pupa

A few weeks later the moths begin to emerge from the pupa.

E. Newly emerged moth

They then begin to pump up their wings, the wing expansion phase.

G. Wing expansionF 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.

I. Adult moth

As soon as they are able to fly they are off in search of a mate.

j. Mating pairK. Mated Pair

Shortly afterwards the female lays her eggs and the cycle starts all over again,

L. Female laying eggsM. Female moth laying eggs

An unforgettable experience.


About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve, Insects, Macro, Moths, Natural History, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

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