Hibernating moths and butterflies

A recent trip to look for bats in Harlaxton railway tunnel didn’t reveal any – it’s still a little early for them to be hibernating – but plents of moths and butterflies were preparing to hibernate for the winter. The tunnel gets cold but the conditions are stable and this allows the insects to enter a torpid state until the weather warms up again. Herald moths prefer dark places and where you find them, the chances are conditions will be good for bats too! Several of the herald moths were hibernating on old spider’s webs – this isn’t something I’ve seen before but seemed to be a populat location, at least half of them were hanging in this way. The peacock butterfly was recently arrived as he was still quite active, flapping his wings slowly when the torch fell upon him, but plenty more had their wings folded tight and looked set to sleep out the winter already!ImageImageImage

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4 thoughts on “Hibernating moths and butterflies

  1. F.Tiler October 27, 2012 / 6:47 pm

    i found the herald moths in my shed 26th oct about 20 all together clinging behind an 8×4 sheet of plywood in truro cornwall had to look them up as i hadnt seen this before

  2. westfieldwildlife December 7, 2013 / 10:45 am

    Are you sure those Herald moths hanging in cobwebs are able to free themselves and the legs aren’t caught up? I think that’s got to be accidental. Hope they can get away when they need to 🙂
    Best wishes, Ralph Hobbs
    PS Thanks for ‘liking’ my recent posting!

    • Grantham Ecology December 7, 2013 / 11:10 am

      I don’t know for sure – I have never returned in spring to see them leave (or otherwise!). Something about the way they were settled, and the way there were a number in similar poses along the tunnel, made me think it might have been intentional, but accidental entanglement is quite possible. Maybe I was just being an optimist 🙂

      • westfieldwildlife December 7, 2013 / 12:32 pm

        Thanks, would be interesting if anyone could take another look before spring. Very long way I know!!

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