Night-flying Hebrew Characters, Torbreck

May 4th 2016

Night-flying Hebrew Characters

The Hebrew Character moth Orthosia gothica gets its name from its dark saddle-shaped mark, which resembles the Hebrew letter, ‘Nun’. Flying late in the night, during April to early June, it feeds on sallow catkins. It is very common throughout Britain and Europe and some years ago, about forty were caught in a small light-trap at Little Assynt on the same night.

These three moths were light-trapped recently, in Torbreck, near Lochinver and show how the species may vary in appearance. The moth on the left, with the saddle mark the same shade as the ground colour, is the form which occurs as a small percentage of the population on moorland, here in Northern Scotland. The moth in the centre represents the most common form seen in this area.

Gwen Richards

Hebrew Character moths Orthosia gothica Torbreck. Photo G. Richards
Hebrew Character moths Orthosia gothica Torbreck. Photo G. Richards

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