So there I was, trudging along the boardwalk at Elstead, Surrey, when I saw it, walked on, then about-turned and did a double take. What had I just seen? A brown leaf resting on a blade of grass where it had fallen off…hmm, no suitable trees in sight. So, then I stared and stared, and stared some more. Would I ever be able to find that particular blade of grass again? Ah yes, there it was, a few paces away.
Approaching with caution, in case whatever it was got nudged and fell down between the slats of the boardwalk, I then crouched to investigate. It appeared to be a moth. I say appeared to be, because like so many of these clever fellas, it was cunningly disguised as a piece of dried wood or a fallen leaf. To be honest, I’ve never seen any moth like it before. I’ve seen moths that look like twigs or leaves, but never this particular species.
Excited, I took a couple of photographs and quickly enlarged them on my screen, so that I could get a better idea of what it looked like and catch the detail. How cute. Its face is almost cat like, with a dinky little upturned nose. Furry like a cat too, yet it’s got a back fin that would sit well on any dinosaur. Most unusual.
Unfortunately, my new friend, ‘dinosaur cat moth,’ was in a really awkward position to photograph at a good angle. He was resting quite close to the ground, tucked back in amongst the grass and heather. What little light there was, refused to penetrate his safe hiding hole, and even though he was sitting comfortably and had no intention of flying away, capturing a decent shot was near enough impossible. If you think the photo looks burnt out at the top of his quiff, that’s because he’s bright white on top.
Okay, here’s a really mediocre shot of his top view so that you can see what I’m talking about. I’d say he’s about an inch in height, but it was difficult to judge because he’s bent round.
If anyone knows what species he is, please let me know so that I can name him correctly. Feel free to Tweet and share these images around. Help me discover who he is. Someone, somewhere, must know the real name of ‘dinosaur cat moth.’ He sure is cute!