About My Moths Blog
My Moths Blog is a diary of the comings and goings recorded at my moth station, together with other general information about moths that I feel you may find useful and/or interesting.
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For more information on specific moth species I am currently working on two new sections of the site, Steve's Micro Moths and Steve's Macro Moths, which can be accessed from the buttons at the bottom of the page. Please note that these are works in progress, so will take some time to complete.
How do moths survive the UK winters?
Surprisingly there are around 100 species of moths in flight during the UK winter months. Some moth species can only be found in their adult form during winter; these are the Winter moth, Spring usher and the December moth.
The winter moths are somewhat brownish or grey as there is no need for colour as they fly at night. Most of the females are also wingless.
However, there are many other macros and microspecies in flight during the winter months. These winter moth species are somewhat brownish or grey as there is no need for colour as they fly at night. Most of the females are also wingless. . Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies) are cold-blooded, and some moths have developed several innovative tactics to survive the winter months in the UK. To cope with freezing conditions, many insects change their bodies chemical substances to adapt to winter weather conditions. They create more glycerol which lowers the freezing point of their blood; they can produce anti-freeze and expel water from their system to prevent themselves from freezing. When the weather is at its most challenging, they still need somewhere to shelter from the coldest conditions. Many moths will live out their total lives in Britain surviving winter as larvae/caterpillar Others will lie dormant as a pupa, many larvae will bury themselves underground before pupating to try to avoid the lowest temperatures. Some moths survive the cold months in egg form whereas some lie dormant in adult form. The most common species adopting this method is the;
Herald moth (Scoliopteryx libatrix
The adults of this species are on the wing from late July to November.
Before hibernation, these moths will lie dormant in cellars, outbuildings, sheds and sometimes houses before becoming more active come spring. In one form or another, moths adapt themselves to survive the winter weather. Keep a lookout in your outhouses for hibernating moths you never know what you may find.