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Species Notebook:

  • Silver Y Moth

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    Silver Y: marking time

    Post date: Friday, 4 March, 2016 - 00:00

    Butterflies fly by day and moths by night ...? No, not true. I am sure no butterflies fly by night but there are a number of moths that fly by day including this one, the silver Y (Autographa gamma), which is quite happy to fly by day or by night.

    All the silver Y moths we see here are immigrants from the warmer climate of Southern Europe. In some years they can be abundant everywhere and I remember giving up after counting to a hundred one morning in my moth trap and I still had many more to go! 
     
    Not often found at rest, usually there is a fluttering of wings, but when they do settle the silver Y marking on the wings is quite distinctive. There are golden Y moths too, but not usually seen during the day unless disturbed.
     
    The silver Y does lay eggs on every kind of low vegetation and the larva do hatch and become adults later in the summer boosting numbers but they cannot survive our winters.

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