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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Right place, right time - Female Muslin, Carmarthenshire North.

Wednesday 10 May -  Whilst out enjoying the afternoon sunshine, on the deckchair in the garden, with dog at my side, (and all the while keeping an 'eagle eye' on anything that looked remotely 'mothy'),  when out of the blue, the  beautiful Female Muslin flew by with its distinctive, delicate transparent wings.

I know how very lucky I was to spot her, and kept sight of her as she landed onto plantain, being one of their larval food plants. I then very gently lifted her off the leaf, and put her in a large square tub. It was only then, when I saw her, that I thought she may be ready to lay her eggs. I quickly took two photos of her but by which time she had started laying her eggs. It looked like she had more to lay, so I gently placed her in an area of the garden that no-one walks on, and it's filled with their larval food plants of plantains and docks. Good luck little one!


                                                               Female Muslin Diaphora mendica

 For those hoping to see the Female Muslin I do hope you are lucky!


  1. With good habitat close at hand, at or near your garden, I suggest that you try `dusking`, armed with a net and an adequate number of containers. I`ve just returned with easily 25+ species of micro recorded or potted up for later examination. It is a really warm, almost windless evening here on the coast at Pwll and I was amazed by the numbers of micros that were `out and about` in an area (hedgerow/scrub, rank grassland/wetland) which, if walked in the day, normally yields just one or two moths. It`s worth trying.

  2. Yes, there are lots of areas I can look at, and certainly worth a try, even if I start off within the garden. Looks like you had a very successful evening too, and shows the difference of increased catches while 'dusking' from day to evening.

  3. Nice one Jacqueline, I've only ever seen one female of the species (in my greenhouse) although the male crops up regularly in the traps at this time of year. Are you going to hatch the eggs out?

  4. Cheers Chris, thrilled to see her, they are so delicate. Yes, I will be hatching the eggs out. I had December Moth eggs left for me after potting one last Nov, but removed them from the fridge too early. The first started to pupate about a month ago, so keeping my fingers crossed. I've only had one male Muslin turn up 18 April, so was delighted with the eggs.

  5. Good luck with rearing some Muslins Jacqueline! I reared a clutch of White Ermine eggs a couple of years ago because the 'mother' was unusual in having only two black spots on each wing, rather like a Water Ermine. The pupae were kept in the greenhouse over winter. Sadly all the hatchlings had normal multi-spotted wings!

  6. Very interesting, but was definately worth the try, it's a funny old business this motthing lark. I'll let you know how it goes with the Muslins.