Shrubby willows of an unknown variety line the northern shore of the Brighton millpond. Last night was warm and, as I walked past them, I noticed several moths of the same species were hovering around them. I looked closer and found that were were lots more moths and they were all perched on the willow’s catkins which were at their peak (above). The unidentified moths are ordinary looking with no flashy markings, about an inch long and the color of the willow’s branches. Later in the evening, I found the same moths on crabapple trees.
While everyone knows bees pollinate flowers because they see them during the day, not everyone is aware moths do their share, too. I’m astonished these little creatures can 1) steer, and 2) find their chosen plants. It’s surely some sort of instinct they have, but think of how small their brains are. How can they store that knowledge from generation to generation?
At least two dozen of these moths perched on catkins for about a minute and then flew into the air and then found another catkin to visit. None were seen mating so this was just a feeding soirée. I’m not sure how long they live. Perhaps they pollinate many species of plants during the spring and summer seasons. Click the pictures to see more detail.