Small Magpie Moth (Anania hortulata)
Photographed on the Tuesday 07 June 2016.
This Small Magpie moth (Anania hortulata) is actually a micro moth rather that a macro moth. The difference between the two being mostly arbitrary and due to convenience e.g. small moths are placed in the micro moth category and larger moths into the macro moth category. However, this does not always follow i.e. the small magpie is bigger than some macro moths and in general micro moths are considered to be more primitive and include the Goat moth, one of our biggest moths (which sometimes gets placed in the macro moths). To confuse things even further Anania hortulata is sometimes also called Eurrhypara hortulata, Anania = Eurrhypara. The Small Magpie belongs to the Class Insecta, Order Lepidoptera, Superfamily Pyraloidea, Family Crambidae, Subfamily Pyraustinae and Genus Anania, the figure in bold are the usual taxonomy displayed. The larval food plant is nettles from which it feeds from a rolled or spun leaf.
Moths comprise a group of insects that originated before butterflies, but to which they are related, both falling under the Order of Lepidoptera. There may be as many as 160 000 species of moths and many more yet to discover. Most are nocturnal though some are day flying and there are also crepuscular and diurnal species. The well-known and disliked clothes moths were actually moths that inhabited birds’ nests originally and like many other moths are considered pests, many of which can be serious agricultural pests such as the diamond back micro moth. However, some moths are quite primitive and do not feed at all and many others feed on nectar, whilst others are actually farmed e.g. the silk moth. Moth trapping is also an fun, enjoyable hobby where moths are light trapped (also sugar ropes and pheromones) and then identified the following morning with the records going up to a national database through your local moth society, which occurs all over the world.
Moths are part of the Order Lepidoptera which consists o
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