Hebrew Character Moth - Western Isles - Hebrides Insects

Hebrew Character Moth

Hebrew Character Moth - Western Isles
Orthosia gothica

The Hebrew Character moth is named so due to the dark mark near the centre of the forewing. This moth is commonly found in The Western Isles - Scotland and The UK.

The hebrew character moth is so called because it bears a black mark shaped like the Hebrew letter Nun near the centre of the forewing. It has a wing span of 30 - 35mm

The typical forms have a distinct black mark on the forewing, but some forms, especially in northern parts, have this mark the same as the ground colour, or even paler.

The Hebrew Character Moth has a wingspan of up to 30 - 35mm

Larva
The larva is green with a pale stripe down each side and feeds on a wide variety of plants
. The eggs laid in March and are hatched after only ten days. The first caterpillars can be seen in March as well. They start by eating the host plants buds, then the leaves. The larvae feed by night only. During daytime they sit motionless hidden in the food plant

The caterpillars are full grown in June or July. They move to the ground, dig a hole there and go underground. There they spin a firm cocoon in which they pupate. Usually the pupa over winters, but during very mild winters some moths will hatch in January or February. The caterpillar itself is green with small yellow speckles. The length of the full grown caterpillars varies between 42 and 47mm.

A FEW MOTH FACTS
Moths Closely Related to Butterflies
Moths are closely related to butterflies - people are often under the illusion that throughout the Scotland and the Uk that there are more butterflies than moths - however there are actually about 60 species of butterfly to be seen throughout the UK as opposed to 2500 species of moths. Moths can be seen all the year round including the winter months

Life Cycle - Egg - Pupa - Adult
The life cycle of a moth consists of an egg, caterpillar, pupa, and then the adult moth. Some species of moths live as adults for only a few days, while others live for many months and hibernate over the winter. Some live as caterpillars for 3 to 4 years.

Animal Food Source - Pollination
Moths are a vital food source for many other animals - many birds eat moths - and some species of moths are important pollinators.

Moths Vision

Moths see very differently from us. they can see ultraviolet rays (which are invisible to humans).

Moths Hearing
Butterflies and moths hear sounds through their wings.

Study of Moths
The study of moths is called - 'lepidoptery'

Johnstons Organ
Butterflies and moths both have an organ - the Johnston's organ which is at the base of their antennae. This organ is responsible for maintaining the butterfly or moths sense of balance and orientation, especially during flight.

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