Monday, September 16, 2013

Mint Moth

The weather was quite good on Saturday morning and I was a little surprised to see that the Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata) was still flying in my garden.

This is a rather pretty day flying micro-moth of the family Crambidae and, according to the UK Moths web-site, its larvae feed on a wide range of garden herbs but particularly marjoram (Origanum vulgare) and several species of mint, e.g. spearmint (Mentha spicata) and apple mint (M. rotundifolia). We have lots of majoram and grow patches of both of these mints for cooking purposes. However, I most often see the moths sitting in the sunshine on a large leaf. This weekend they were most noticeable basking on the leaves of our buddleja.

These moths appear, in my garden, as early as the second half of April and are probably most numerous in May and early June and then occur right through the summer and evidently into mid September. Again, according to the UK Moths web-site, they have two generations per year in May/June and July/August.

The NBN Gateway shows the distribution extending across the southern half of Great Britain north to around Merseyside with a couple of outlying records from the Arneside area.