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"A Nature Observer′s Scrapbook"

Macro Moths, Page 1


Somehow we manage to live with the anomaly that man's arbitrary division of moths into small 'Micro Moth' and larger 'Macro Moth' groups results in a rather grey area where some of the larger Pyralid Micro Moths are actually bigger than some Macro Moths - and some of the smaller Macros can be smaller than some Micros!




male Ghost Moth female Ghost Moth female Ghost Moth

Ghost Moth

Hepialis humuli


Although common throughout the UK from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles (with the exception of mountainous areas), the Ghost Moth is not seen as often as might be expected. The moths fly during the months of June and July. It is a grassland species and the common name is derived from the swirling courtship flights of the adults taking place at low levels above the grass sward at dusk. It is often attracted to light sources at ground level, barbeque lanterns, car lights, etc.


The female produces a large number of tiny black spherical eggs which are released in flight to fall over a widespread area of grass. Many moths have sticky eggs that adhere to twigs or leaves but the Ghost Moth eggs are like tiny smooth ball bearings that bounce off or roll down the blades of grass so that they come to rest at soil level. The larvae feed entirely on grass roots and are consequently rarely found. They, like many other underground feeders, are white with dark spots and so are well nigh impossible to positively identify.


This is a truly dimorphic species, the males and females having quite different wing coloration. The male has pure white wings with a silky sheen, while the female has matt yellow wings with orange to pink markings when newly emerged, fading to a straw colour with pale brown markings as it matures.



DateSighting
27.06.2008 Male seen flying over meadow at dusk.
12.06.2010 Male found at rest on long grass in meadow at dusk.
24.06.2010 Brightly coloured female attracted to light.
09.07.2010 1male, 3 females attracted to light.
03.08.2010 1 female attracted to light.



Six-spot Burnet

Six-spot Burnet

Zygaena filipendulae


There are several Burnet moths to be found in the UK (the Six-spot being the most common) but fortunately a quick count of the red spots on each wing will 'usually' be sufficient to identify each species. There will always be aberrations and on rare occasions this one will even have yellow spots!


This species, a day flying moth, usually flies during June, July and August and is often found on the flowers of Knapweed and thistles. It is well distributed across England, Wales, Isle of Man and Ireland but, is largely coastal in Scotland and only occasional in the Channel Islands.


Initially, the larvae are small chunky green caterpillars with bristles and black spots. But, in the final laval instar, still chunky and bristly, they become bright yellow with black spots. The larvae feed on Trefoils from August through to June the following year, undergoing a 'diapause' resting state (not a true hibernation) during adverse winter conditions. Trefoils contain traces of cyanide which build up in the caterpillars and pass through the metamorphosis into the adult moth. There is a theory that the 'sinister' black and red wing coloration warns birds that the moths are unpalatable but whether the cyanide influences the wing colour or, it is just a chance of evolution, is not known. The Cinnabar moth shares this same attribute.



DateSighting
25.07.2009 Seen feeding on Knapweed nectar.


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Chinese Character Chinese Character
top view

Chinese Character

Cilix glaucata

This is a tiny little macro moth, unusual and quite unique. It has a forewing length of only 9mm. It's size, resting position and coloration mimics a bird dropping and acts as very successful camouflage against hungry birds. Its markings and coloration remain remarkably consistent throughout the species.


It belongs to the Drepanidae (Hook-tip) group of moths of which only six species are resident in the UK - and this one lacks hook tips to its wings! The wing markings are very delicate and precise.


There are two generations per year, flying in May-June and then in August. (That is the theory. The late, warm summer of 2006 saw them flying throughout July.) It is widespread in England and Wales but quite localised in lowland Scotland, usually frequenting hedgerows and scrub.


The larvae feed on Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Bramble.



DateSighting
02.08.2005 Flew indoors, attracted to light and came to rest on the ceiling. 'What was a bird dropping doing on the ceiling?'
22.08.2005 A second specimen found indoors.
July 2006 Many individuals seen throughout the month.
13.07.2009 Attracted to light.
06.08.2009 Attracted to light.
12.05.2011 Attracted to light.


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Common Footman Common Footman larva

Common Footman

Eilema lurideola

There are several species of Footman moths which get their name from the simple classic uniforms of the footmen traditionally employed by royalty and the nobility.


Some of the species need a good eye to positively identify them but, this is the classic Common Footman. It has the characteristic lead grey wings with a dull yellow leading edge which does not quite extend to the gently curved wingtip.


It is a single generation species, flying from June to August and quite commonly comes to light in good numbers.


The larva overwinters from August to late May, eventually growing to about 25mm.


Larval foodplants are lichens and algae growing on trees and stone. But it will also feed on leaves of Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Bramble.



DateSighting
14.07.2004Indoors.
05.04.2006Larva found under lichen clad clay tile.
08.07.2006Indoors, attracted to light.
22.02.200712mm larva found in same location as the 2006 find under a piece of fallen Chestnut tree bark.
25.06.2009 Attracted to light.
02.08.2009 Attracted to light.


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Dingy Footman Dingy Footman
- yellow form Dingy Footman,
Eilema griseola, larva

Dingy Footman

Eilema griseola and
..... E. griseola f. stramineola


The upper image shows the standard grey version of the Dingy Footman, the wings being, appropriately, a pale dingy grey (compared to the slate grey of the Common Footman) with a faint pale leading edge.

When variation in wing coloration or differing light conditions starts to cause confusion, the distinguishing feature that separates it from the Common Footman is the noticeably broader wing with a curved leading edge and a less well defined pale leading edge stripe.

It is also a single generation species, flying a little later than the Common Footman, from July to August.

The middle image, is of the 'yellow form' of the Dingy Footman, E. griseola f. stramineola. This should not be confused with the pale forrm of the Buff Footman which has a pale leading edge to the wing - nor the Orange Footman which has a distinctive wing shape and is not at all common in Lincolnshire.

The apparently different wing shape is solely down to a slightly greater wing overlap in this image and is not a significant identification feature.

The larvae feed on lichens, algae, mosses and even withered leaves so food sources should not restrict its breeding limits and it is slowly extending its residential area northwards to the English Midlands.


The lower image is of a 10mm larval specimen found in late October. It was found on an external door at night and was probably looking for a suitable place to hibernate.

On emerging from hibernation, they will continue feeding through Spring and a mature larvae could reach a length of 25mm by May prior to entering pupation.



DateSighting
25.07.2004Hay meadow western hedge at 18.55hrs.
01.08.2006The yellow form came to light indoors.
23.10.200610mm larva found.
03.07.2009Adult attracted to light.
17.08.2009Adult attracted to light.
10.07.2010Adult attracted to light.



Four-dotted Footman

Four-dotted Footman

Cybosia mesomella

The placing of the tiny black dots on the wing is a constant and diagnostic feature - one near the leading edge and one near the trailing edge. Although, as the wings are invariably overlapped at rest, only three dots may be visible.

There is another form, f. flava, that has uniformly dull yellow wings - with the four dots. And there is a much larger yellow winged species, the Four-spotted Footman, Lithosa quadra, that has significantly larger spots.

This species is more widely found in southern UK and is very localised on the UK islands.

The single generation flies from May to August and the larvae feed on lichens and algae growing on the woody stems of heather, sallows and the like.



DateSighting
09.07.2007 Attracted to lighted window.


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Buff Ermine moth

Buff Ermine

Spilosoma luteum

This is one of the easier moths to identify. There are only three other species with which it might be confused and they do not carry the strong inverted Vee markings.

It is regarded as common throughout the UK (with the exception of the Shetland Isles) and the adults fly generally from mid-May to mid-July - although a second generation may be found in the south from September to October.

The larvae feed on a wide range of plants including stinging nettles and docks. They then pupate over winter in loose leaf and plant litter.

The male (with feathered antennae) shown on the right was attracted to light late at night and flew in through an open door - only to be unceremoniously 'shown the door' again after his photo shoot.



DateSighting
22.06.2005 Attracted to light at back door.
01.06.2009 Attracted to light.
18.07.2009 Attracted to light.


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White Ermine moth White Ermine moth - underside White Ermine moth larva

White Ermine

Spilosoma lubricipeda

Despite the coloration of the image taken in poor lighting, this is a pure white moth with black speckling. The degree of speckling can vary quite a bit, sometimes forming a distinct cuved line as in the Buff Ermine above.


When threatened, it has two forms of defence. It will often simply fall on it's side and feign death. This position can be held for several minutes. Or, it can quickly open its wings to reveal the orange and black top side of it's abdomen. This colour combination is seen in a lot of insects and seems to suggest that they are not good to eat. As seen in the middle image, the underside of the abdomen is white and black.


The single generation flies from May to July and it can be found throughout the British Isles.


The black hairy caterpillar is quite a contrast to the clean cut lines of the adult. It always strikes me as a caterpillar with character. When disturbed it tends to 'hunch up' and foreshorten its body length (as seen here) - presumably to offer nothing but hairy bristles to any attacker. But, once on the move it motors along at a very purposeful rate and tends to ignore any obstacles placed in its path.


They are normally clothed in dense hairs of a uniform length. The uneven coat that this specimen is sporting may be due to a transition from one larval instar state to another. The larvae are to be found on a wide range of food plants including Nettles and Docks from July until September. They then pupate in a cocoon amongst leaf litter throughout the winter months.



DateSighting
19.08.2005 Larva found underneath a hedge from which nettles were being removed.
14.06.2006 Adult moth attracted to light at back door.
10.05.2007 Adult moth attracted to light at back door.
16.05.2009 Adult moth attracted to lighted window.
28.06.2009 Adult moth attracted to lighted window.


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Feathered Thorn m Feathered Thorn f

Feathered Thorn

Colotois pennaria


The upper image is of a male, recocgnised by the feathered antennae - an aid to pheromone locating the female (lower image).


There can be quite a colour variation in this species, from a light creamy brown to rich russet.


The Feathered Thorn is quite commonly distributed in Britain, though more locally in Scotland. The single generation flies in the autumn, from September to November.


In spring, the long, thin, 'looper' like caterpillars feed on a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, eg Quercus, Salix, Pyrus, Malus, Sorbus, Prunus, and Acer.



DateSighting
29.10.2003Male and female followed each other in the back door.
31.10.2004Male found inside back door late at night.
06.10.2009Attracted to light.
12.11.2009Attracted to light.


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1st generation Early Thorn

Early Thorn

Selenia dentaria


This colourful moth characteristically holds its wings in the closed upright fashion of butterflies.


There are usually two generations a year. The upper image is of a first generation specimen found in early April, the markings being rather better defined and the coloration rather more contrasting.



2nd generation Early Thorn

The lower image is of second generation individual found in July. The second generation is generally of a smaller size than the first and is of a lighter, softer coloration - although there can be quite a variation between individuals.

These images are of males. It is just about possible to see their strongly feathered antennae used to help locate the pheromones given off by the females. The females tend to be rather greyer in colour.

Forewing length can range from 14mm to 23mm, depending on generation and gender, males of the 2nd generation tending to be the smaller and females of the 1st generation tending to be the larger. It is widely distributed across the UK, being found as far north as the Orkney Isles, in both rural and urban areas.

The larvae feed on Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel, Birch, Sallows and Honeysuckle. Overwintering larvae will pupate in leaf litter beneath the food plant but the summer larvae pupate in cocoons spun between the growing leaves of the plant.



DateSighting
31.07.2004Attracted to light at the open backdoor.
20.07.2005Attracted to light at the open backdoor - again.
25.07.2006Attracted to light at the open backdoor - again.
26.07.2008Attracted to lighted window.
06.08.2008Attracted to lighted window.
15.07.2009Attracted to lighted window.
10.08.2009Attracted to lighted window.
07.04.2010Attracted to lighted window.



Canary-shouldered Thorn

Canary-shouldered Thorn

Ennomus alniaria


As it's common name suggests, the prominent canary yellow hair of its thorax readily identifies this moth. Should there be any doubt, further positive identifying characteristics would be the manner in which it holds its wings half open - as opposed to the Early Thorn holding them upright and tightly closed and the Feathered Thorn holding them flat wide open.


It is widely distributed throughout mainland UK and flies from late July to early October.


Eggs are laid on the larval foodplant, usually birch, alder, lime or elm and will overwinter on the bark.


When the tree returns to leaf, the larvae hatch beteen May and July, normally later in the north, and will eventually pupate in leaf litter and low vegetation under the food plant.



DateSighting
05.08.2010 Attracted to lighted window.



Pale Brindled Beauty - male Male Pale Brindled Beauty antennae and eyebrows

Pale Brindled Beauty

Phigalia/Apocheimia pilosaria

The Pale Brindled Beauty appears early in the year, flying in January to March - at least the male does. The female is flightless, having no wings at all and could quite easily pass unrecognised as a moth.

Pupation takes place in a cocoon in the soil at the base of the larval food plant - usually a broadleaved tree. On emerging, the females crawl up the trunk of the tree and simply wait for the flying males, with their heavily 'feathered' antennae and white eyebrows, to find them. The female's eggs are then laid close to new leaf buds.

The thin 'looper' caterpillars are to be found from April to June on a wide range of common trees such as, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Apple, Birch, Hazel, Willows, Poplars, Ash and Elm.

The pale form is normal in rural and suburban areas but, in towns and industrial areas, a much darker form is more likely to be found. The one shown here had a pale lichen green tinge but they are usually found in shades of brown.



DateSighting
21.02.2007 Flew in through open window @ 19.00hrs.
24.02.2011 Attracted to lighted window.


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Engrailed Engrailed

The Engrailed

Ectropis bistortata


The name comes from the 'hammered metal' appearance of the ancient grail, a flat metal dish. There is some debate about whether this and the Small Engrailed (E. crepuscularia) are one and the same species.

This moth usually produces two generations, flying in March and April, and then in July and August, but in the northern parts of its range it is single-brooded, flying in April and May. I understand that the early ones tend to be more colourful (like the upper image).

It frequents woodland, gardens and other bushy habitats. It is common in England and Wales, but less so in Scotland and Ireland.

The caterpillars feed on Betula, Salix, Larix (all of which exist locally) and other trees and shrubs.



DateSighting
03.07.2003A night visitor at the back door.
01.04.2004Found in broad daylight at 15.30hrs, on the front door-step.
12.07.2009Attracted to light.


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Willow Beauty Willow Beauty

Willow Beauty

Pentabodes rhomboidaria

There are three distinct colour forms of the Willow Beauty and while the lower image of the grey form P. rhomboidaria f. perfumaria might appear somewhat drab, its wing scales can have an almost satin irridescence. The third form, which is even darker but with less pronounced markings, is often associated with industrial habitats.

The males carry large feathered antennae which taper to a featherless point.

Generally a single generation species, flying between June and August. The larvae favour a wide range of broad leaved and coniferous food plants, e.g. Hawthorn, Plum, Privet, Honeysuckle, Yew, and Cypress - but apparently not Willow!



DateSighting
05.08.2004Attracted to light at the backdoor.
18.07.2006Attracted to light at the backdoor.
05.07.2008Attracted to lighted window.
12.08.2008Attracted to lighted window.
24.06.2009Attracted to lighted window.
15.08.2009Attracted to lighted window.


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December moth December moth antenna

December moth

Poecilocampa populi


After several frosty nights, it was something of a surprise to find this moth on the wing but as its name suggests, it was flying true to form. It is common throughout much of Britain and Ireland and flies from October to December.

The caterpillars are active from May to July before pupating in the soil. The widely varying pupation period of different moth and butterfly species helps to avoid species competition.

The caterpillars feed on a variety of deciduous trees, including Oak, Apple, Plum, Cherry and Hawthorn.

The left hand side of the lower image shows the comparitively large feathered antenna of the male. This measured 7mm by 2mm.



DateSighting
07.12.2003Back garden.


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Yellow-tail Tussock moth
viewed through window

Yellow-tail Tussock

Euproctis similis


This is a fluffy, pretty little moth that cannot fail to attract attention. They can vary in size from a forewing length of 16mm to 23mm.

This is another species where the males have heavily feathered antennae. Both sexes have the heavy leg feathering.

The 'yellow tail' refers to the end of the abdomen which can only 'sometimes' be seen through the parted tips of the tightly folded wings. What further complicates the identification of this and other white moths is that the females do not always have the small dark marks on the inside edges of the folded wings. It helps greatly if the moth can be persuaded to land on a window so that the underside of its abdomen can be easily viewed!

The usual flight period is from June to August.


Yellow-tailed Tussock larva

After feeding on Hawthorn, Sallow, Poplar, Willow or Oak, caterpillars will normally enter winter hibernation in September, in silken cocoons, to re-emerge the following spring, still as caterpillars, to then continue feeding until pupation in May.

However, having raised a batch of larvae, I can confirm that a few larvae may continue feeding until late in September and will then directly enter pupation to give rise to a small second generation of moths that will fly in October or November. Of the batch that entered hibernation as expected, some were quite small and did not survive. The majority emerged from hibernation in April, visibly smaller than they were in the autumn but quickly resumed feeding again and the image is of a 30mm individual taken in mid-May.

I have also recorded a larva actively feeding in mid June but that probably reflected the late onset of summer 2006 - or a less than ideal food source - it was found feeding on the lush young leaf bracts of evergreen Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry laurel).

Caution should be exercised in handling these caterpillars as the long hairs can cause skin irritation.



DateSighting
17.07.2003Attracted to lighted window.
14.06.2006Larva found feeding on young laurel leaves.
18.07.2006Male attracted to light .
14.07 - 29.07.2009Moths attracted to lighted window.
09.07 - 09.08.2010Moths attracted to lighted window - one of which laid eggs on 02.08.2010
22.07.2010Of the 40+ eggs laid on 02.08.2010, 37 hatched en masse.
23.08.2010Larvae from eggs laid on 02.08.2010, now 13mm long.
Oct - Nov 20102 late emergent 2nd generation moths emerged from pupation.
Late April 201119 larvae emerged from hibernation. Some succumbed in the hibernation/pupation phase, some during earlier skin changes.


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Magpie moth Magpie moth caterpillar Magpie moth pupa

Magpie moth

Abraxas grossulariata

Now here is a rarity, a moth, the caterpillar and even the pupa, all with similar colouring.

Even so, while the specimens shown represent the norm, there can be quite some variation in the patterning of the moth ranging from almost completely black to almost all white. But, the marking is always crisp. In a related species, the Clouded magpie, the markings are always smudged and not so prominent.

The single generation flies from late June to August and is now widespread throughout the UK. Until recently, it was regarded as scarce in the Northern Isles but is now well established in Orkney.

The caterpillar has a wide range of food plants - Hawthorn, Blackthorn, privet, currant, bramble and gooseberry and even heather in the north. So it is just as likely to be found in domestic gardens as in the wild.

In common with all other insect caterpillars the larva has six 'proper' thoracic legs at the front - but only one pair of prolegs in front of its claspers at the rear. This means that while the majority of caterpillars move with a rippling action, this is one of the looper action group.

It pupates in a flimsy cocoon on or close to the foodlpant - the one seen on the right was found attached to the back of an Ivy leaf within a Hawthorn hedge. The pupae of many species tend to darken with age and lose their initial crisp sheen but, this one retained its fresh appearance through to emergence of the adult moth.



DateSighting
07.06.2003 Larva on a bramble leaf growing in a hawthorn hedge.
04.08.2005 Adult moth disturbed from hawthorn hedge at 17.00hrs
26.06.2006 Larva on hawthorn hedge.
31.07.2006 3 adults on hawthorn hedge, one obseved to lay four eggs.
16.07.2007 Pupa found in Hawthorn hedge.
25.08.2007 Adult moth hatched from pupa (above) and released back to 'home' hedge.
30.07.2008 Attracted to lighted window.
03.08.2008 Pupa found on Goose Grass (Cleavers) growing through Hawthorn.
13.08.2008 Adult hatched from pupa and released.
15.08.2008 Attracted to lighted window.
19.07.2009 Attracted to lighted window.
20.08.2009 Attracted to lighted window.


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Grey Dagger agg.

Grey Dagger    &    Dark Dagger

Acronicta psi    &    Acronicta tridens

The Grey Dagger and the Dark Dagger moths are two very similar species, requiring dissection and knowledge in depth to differentiate between them.

That seems very drastic for my liking. I originally decided that the moth shown on the right was probably a Grey Dagger on the the basis that the moth was found only 20 yards from where the truly distinctive caterpillar was found.

So, given that I had found a Grey Dagger larva and that the Grey Dagger is the more common of the two species the odds began to stack in favour of that being the appropriate species.

But, four years later, I then found the larvae of both the Grey Dagger and the Dark Dagger feeding on Hawthorn within 15cms of each other! So, not being able to now differentiate between the moths, I will in future have to be refer to them as Grey Dagger agg. - meaning that they are representative of the Grey Dagger aggregate group of similar species.

The larvae feed on Chestnut, Hawthorn, Blackthorn and fruit trees, all of which grow in the vicinity. So, it is hardly surprising that the moths are frequent visitors to the garden.

Grey Dagger caterpillar

The Grey Dagger caterpillar in the second image, at only 18mm long, was in the early stages of development but still displays the prominent bright yellow band extending down the middle of its back. In the latter stages of development it would develop a white line down each side of the body giving it an even more striking appearance and at maturity it would double in size to 35 - 40mm in length.

Dark Dagger caterpillar

The lower image is of the Dark Dagger caterpillar. At 26mm long this was more mature and carried a shimmering coat of long hairs that may well distract or confuse would be predators - as well as being distateful.

The Grey Dagger is rather more widely distributed throughout the UK and flies from May to August whereas the Dark Dagger's range tends to be restricted to the southern half of the UK and it has a slightly more restricted flight window through May and July. In suitable conditions a small second generation of both species may emerge in September and October.



DateSighting
27.06.2005 Spent the entire day resting on the eastern side of the house porch.
27.08.2005 Found on Hawthorn hedge by side of house.
27.08.2009 Larvae of both species found feeding together on Hawthorn hedging.


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Marbled Beauty Marbled Beauty Marbled Beauty larva

Marbled Beauty

Cryphia domestica



The Marbled Beauty is a single generation species flying during July and August. It is common throughout the UK. It is attracted to light and will often be found indoors or by illuminated windows.



In my location the grey and white form is by far the most common. But, occasionally, the orange and white form turns up and fully justifies it's 'common name' of the Marbled Beauty.



With a forewing length of from 12mm to 14mm, this is quite a small moth.



The distinctive larvae (there is nothing similar to confuse them with) are to be found from September to mid May. They grow to a length of 25mm and are somewhat unusual in that they feed on rock and tree growing lichens. The one seen on the right was found, hedging its bets, on a lichen clad clay tile at the foot of a Horse Chestnut tree.



DateSighting
31.07.1999Indoors, on the net curtains.
29.08.2003Resting in broad daylight on garage wall.
24.06.2005An early season flier resting on a window pane at dusk.
13.04.2006Larva found at base of Horse Chestnut tree.
13.07.2006Moth resting on north facing wall at 17.00hrs.
August 2006Good numbers of them flying throughout August.
28.07.2007Orange form attracted to light.
02.09.2007Pale form at rest on garage wall for six daylight hours.
07.07.2008Attracted to lighted window.
19.08.2008Attracted to lighted window.
02.07.2009Attracted to lighted window.
05.08.20092 attracted to lighted window.


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Straw Dot Straw Dot

Straw Dot

Rivula sericealis

Although considered resident in the South and West of the UK, this moth is thought to be an immigrant along the East coast.

The dark reniform mark on the wing is very distinctive. It looks for all the world like a tiny pellet hole.

The two images illustrate the colour variation to be found but that 'pellet hole' provides a key identification mark which is unique to this species.

It is frequently found at dusk in long grass and is commonly seen in the head down position. Another habit it has is that, as often as not, it frustratingly chooses to land on the underside of grass stems! So, it can be quite elusive to track down and photograph.

The larvae feed exclusively on grasses and overwinter at the base of the stems. The main adult flight period is between June and July, although a second generation may fly again in the South in August and September.

With regard to size, it is surprising what a difference 2mm can make. The upper moth had a forewing length of 15mm and looked a respectable size. The lower moth's forewing was only 13mm and it looked quite tiny.



DateSighting
06.06.2004Found on Smith's verge at 18.30hrs.
23.06.2005Found in back garden close to crab apple tree.
20.08.2005Field entrance opposite front door.
17.06.2006Ditch opposite front door.
30.07.2006Several flying at dusk at base of hawthorn hedge.
07.09.2007Day flying in late afternoon.
15.09.20073 of the smaller form day flying in grass field.
12.08.2008Day flying in grass field.
28.08.2008Day flying in grass field.
01.06.2009Several on long grass in hay meadow and grass verge.
08.09.2009Attracted to lighted window after dark.



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Fan-foot

Fan-foot

Zanclognatha tarsipennalis

This is a small triangular shaped moth, its forewing only measuring about 15mm and at first glance it appeared to be a non-descript brown.

But, the straight line running across the trailing edge of the wings marked it out as something slightly different and closer inspection revealed the faint crescents and 'question mark' lines which identify the species.

It frequents broadleafed woodland and dense hedgerows wherein the larvae feed on the fallen withered leaves of oak, beech and bramble.

The single generation flies from June to August and is widely distributed in southern Britain, but less so in the north.



DateSighting
21.07.2005 Attracted to light, flew indoors and immediately settled high up in the corner of two walls.
20.07.2006 Attracted to light, flew indoors.
01.07.2009 Attracted to lighted window.
05.07.2009 Attracted to lighted window.




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