Friday, 19 July 2013

Mystery Moth?

We've just had a whole lot of well overgrown ivy chopped down - it was beginning to creep in round my son, Max's bedroom window which he's not been too happy about considering he hates spiders and is convinced they all come rampaging into his room purely to frighten him.  Graham isn't keen on them either.  Why is it that it's mostly men who are scared of spiders?  I've had to be the spider-catcher in our household for years!

However, Max discovered this large moth in our bathroom last night - he was fascinated by the size of it and I was called into action to help rescue it.  It was too large for Max to comfortably hold it in his hands without fear of damaging its wings, but he used a spider-catching contraption (a gift from an ex-girlfriend I believe!) to capture it and we let it happily fly out through the window.  Pretty sure it must've been living/resting amongst all the ivy and flown first into Max's room through the window then followed the lights on the landing into the bathroom.  Graham spotted a similar one (guessing not the actual same one) this morning when the remainder of the ivy was being cut down.

I've tried "googling" to see if I can spot what moth it is but without much success.  It was very dark looking, almost black really, but the flash of the camera on the photos I hurriedly took (this was at 2 in the morning I might add!) make it appear much lighter than it was but at the same time clearly show its markings.  I would estimate its resting wingspan was around 5-6 cm and its colouring mostly dark brown.  It's probably a very common moth but I'd love to know which one.

Any ideas?


  1. A definite beauty in fact may be either a Brindled Beauty or an Oak Beauty! You may be able look them up on internet. I found pics in our 'Complete British Wildlife'. I had no idea that there are 89 different moths in GB!! Another possibility is a Silvery Y. Just seen the lovely card you made for Lindsay -beautiful! Hope you enjoy your weekend, Chrisx

  2. It's definitely the Old Lady moth (Mormo Maura). The photos on the web are identical and the wingspan is also spot on.
    Bizarrely, I watched Only Connect on BBCi Player last night and one of the clues was the Mormo Maura (the answer being Old Lady). Then later, one of the clues in the music round was one sung by Mario Lanza(who I listened to and talked about on my blog yesterday)! Weird or what?!
    Lindsay x x x

  3. Thanks, ladies, for yr suggestions - and yes, Lindsay, I think it is actually the Old Lady moth. Everything seems to fit - colour, markings, wingspan and its habitat.

    Mystery solved !!!