Tiny moths in a buttercup

There’s a lot going on inside buttercups if you look closely. Well maybe not all buttercups! But if you keep an eye open, all sorts of things turn up, as I have blogged about before: Buttercup bedfellows.

Orange spot percier (Pammene aurana) on underside of buttercup

Today I came across a new bedfellow to add to the list: Orange spot percier (Pammene aurana). This little (wingspan 9-13 mm) tortricid moth is reportedly quite common and its larvae feed on Common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium).

Hogweed opening early in the season.

I first noticed a little moth resting on the underside of a buttercup (below). Silhouetted against the light.

Orange spot percier (Pammene aurana) on underside of buttercup

Then another, much livelier one appeared on the upperside of the buttercup (below). It must have known the other one was there! Was it trying to communicate with it? Perhaps saying: “wake up”! There is a level of behaviour we know nothing about.

Orange spot percier (Pammene aurana) on underside of buttercup

At one point the moth on top seemed to look over the edge (below) at the other one! Or is my anthropomorphic mind running amok?! See below.

Orange spot percier (Pammene aurana) on underside of buttercup
Orange spot percier (Pammene aurana) on underside of buttercup

The micro-moth I commonly see on buttercups here in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, is the Cocksfoot moth (Glyphipterix simpliciella)(below).

Cocksfoot moth (Glyphipterix simpliciella) on buttercup

I love to get glimpses into the tiny worlds of these creatures, and remind myself that this moth-flower association has been going on for much longer than we humans have been around. We are just passing shadows for them!

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