Hello again. Following my last post, on assembling male Emperor moths, I have been pondering the way that my three, after finding their way to the captive female from possibly long distances, made a mess of their final approach and ended up fluttering about in our shed while their target was perched unconcerned on the outside wall.
My theory, after reading about the males making sometimes erratic circles as they get near to the female (rather than heading straight towards her) is that one of these manoeuvres took them through the open door of the shed (a couple of inches to the right of her perch) and thus into what turned out to be a trap, working on the same lines as a lobster pot or indeed Robinson moth trap, in that the door and windows acted like funnels, easier to enter by rather than exit through.
Does this make sense? I also got the feeling that a captive female simply left in the open (where she showed no desire to escape or fly away) was much more effective than confinement in a muslin bag. Does others' experience also suggest that?
At all events, a highly enjoyable and interesting exercise.
All best as ever Martin Wainwright Thrupp, Oxon