And there are too many things need doing for me to write much, so I’ll settle for a picture of this rather splendid creature I found in the garden this morning.
I suppose it’s a kind of tiger moth. (I should have stuck a ruler in the picture as an indication of scale, of course, but it must have been something over an inch long.) Its impressive camouflage would have been marginally more effective if it had chosen the cream painted wall for its morning siesta.
As a linguistic aside, it’s strange that English makes such a simple and clear distinction between moths and butterflies. I remember trying to explain this to a class of Spaniards, but they just didn’t understand.
As far as I can make out, the word polilla is mostly used to refer to the clothes moth. They do also use the term mariposa de la noche, but that was no use as I was specifically referring to a plague of day-time moths. “Maripose de la noche del día” really didn’t work.
I tried falena, but although it’s in the rae, none of my students knew the word. I’d picked it up from South Americans; maybe they have more need for precise identification of insects than city dwellers in Spain.