Paul Leyland – Drinker moth
Paul writes: the Drinker (Euthrix potatoria) is a regular visitor to my garden at this time of year, it has a wingspan of 25mm or more so is a real beast of a moth. It usually makes itself known by flapping wildly at a window or may even fly through if the window is open. When this happens it’s a mammoth task to try and catch it as it flies erratically and doesn’t know whether to go around the light or find a bit of shadow. This can cause a lot of chaos. However once it settles you can appreciate the beauty of the yellow brown wings and incredible feathered antennae.
July to August is the main flight period, this one turned up on 17 July. It’s a common moth which occurs throughout England, Wales and the west of Scotland, usually found in damp grassy places but as the larvae feed on a wide variety of coarse grasses it can turn up in lots of different habitats, including urban gardens. The name Drinker comes from the moth’s caterpillar which likes to take in drops of rain or dew. This habit was first noticed around 1662 by Dutch entomologist Johannes Goedaert.