At first I didn’t recognize it because it was so dark, and the usual grey wrinkled bars were barely perceptible. But under a microscope it has the distinctive brown ocellus, vaguely purpled, strongly edged by golden coppery arcs, and the dark tornus streak wrapped about its inner margin.
All the books say Cydia pomonella is double-brooded, flying end of May to October, so 24 December seems a tad late.
Admittedly my kitchen is not very seasonal, but I’m still left wondering what’s going on. I have only one suggestion.
Although we’ve been buying apples all month, the books also claim that codling moth is no longer a shop species, because of all the pesticides; instead it has become a garden moth, living in the random garden apple trees planted across the nation. We have one, and our apples are riddled with the insect every year.
All our home-grown apples are used up now, but what if a caterpillar crawled out of the infested fruit when I was storing it in the biscuit-and-cat-food section of the cupboard under the sink? The moth’s larva usually over-winters in the leaf litter, having gnawed its way out of the windfall in September. Perhaps it had been waiting for spring, tucked up behind a twist of plumbing. But it somehow got confused by the cooking heat and pupated early.
Does this seem reasonable?