Found my moth!

Well, I figure that title should alert at least a couple of readers (‘Hi’ to Henry and Anna), and one or two people round here (‘Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!’), whose interest might be re-tweaked by learning that (two-and-a-half centuries after Linnaeus) I’ve identified my recent visitor – it’s Campaea margaritata, the Light Emerald moth. I saw pale blue, although descriptions state pale green; but they get paler with age. Let’s compromise on ‘pale turquoise’. Also, he can apparently be observed out and about in daylight. But I’m pretty sure it’s him alright.

I’m off to spend a few days in The Peak District: walking, reading, drinking good beer, buying pudding ‘tarts’ in Bakewell (signifying my fondness for almond flavouring, and not an insult to, nor intent to exploit, any ladies of that fair town), and hoping to observe some interesting wildlife (although I’m unlikely to cop eyes on one of these magnificent specimens.) Well, I am a biologist (the term I prefer to use when asked what I do for a living, rather than ‘scientist’, which sometimes leads strangers to automatically assume that you’re clever and/or up to no good and/or an oracle, which is all a bit discomforting; whereas ‘biologist’ is a little bit, I dunno, kooky, but that’s just me), although that’s easy to forget when up to my elbows in a cell culture hood for hours on end, and got (back) into this because of a childhood-rooted interest in nature, which went astray for much of my youth and young manhood (not down to atheism, but beer and women – curses! But, unlike atheism, perfectly natural, I suppose).

Anyway, after a year of this blogging malarkey, it’s time for a metamorphosis of sorts. So, I hereby announce that, henceforth, these pages will be headed The Mawk Moth Profligacies. No expectations, but I hope you get the urge to stop by now and again.

4 responses to “Found my moth!

  1. Oh, very neat! Congratulations on the positive ID. How did you find its description? Is there some sort of systematic search?
    Interesting point about biologist vs scientist. ‘Scientist’ does sound a little haughty, as you say. Implies some sort of deep and secret knowledge that no one else possesses. It’s true though, in a way. Scientists understand just how little they know.

  2. Anna – after a quick look at the list Henry provided, realising that would be a long slog, I simply UK-Googled ‘pale blue moth’, and quickly found it from a picture – which turned out to be # 1961 on the above list. Still satisfying, though.
    It’s not that I find ‘scientist’ haughty; it’s just the way ‘lay’ people seem to react to that sometimes. Plus it’s too vague sometimes.


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