The Oldie

Merveille du jour

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The merveille du jour is particular­ly marvellous because it flies in October and November, when moth numbers generally are in decline.

It is exceptiona­lly beautiful when glistening and freshly hatched. Dead specimens in a collection will rapidly fade, losing the green. Despite its vivid patterning, it is well camouflage­d when resting on patches of lichen on the oak trees where its larvae feed. The adults feed at ivy flowers. Not all adult moths feed: many of the smaller and less highly evolved species lack mouthparts altogether.

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