Country Corner

A camouflaged moth
A camouflaged moth

Here is a puzzle for you. Can you spot the creature in this week’s picture?

I’ll even give you a clue.

There is a large moth there somewhere. See it yet?

It won’t surprise you to learn this week’s subject is camouflage!

Moths display cryptic patterns in abundance. Some are lichen or bark patterned. Some are rock patterned.

In fact, whatever natural surface you can imagine, the chances are there is a species of moth designed to be invisible upon it!

An intriguing question is how each moth knows which surface it matches?

The answer lies in evolution of course, because those who get it wrong get eaten!

Natural selection favours those who get it right, allowing them to survive and breed more of their species with the ability to disappear in full sight. Of course, all of this applies to many species, not just moths.

I count myself as a good observer but would be the first to admit I must pass many creatures for every one I see.

Take the way birds can be seen to collect caterpillars with ease, yet try finding one yourself!

And, of course, it is the ones the birds don’t see which go on to breed.

Natural selection again!

George Hogg, Hogg Estate Services, Wildlife Management