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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Brassy and other problems

Most of us will be aware of the two forms of burnished brass, one where the `brassy` area at the back is joined to the front part f.`juncta` and the other f.`aurea` where there is a gap. In the new, and recommended,  (2012) Moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Clancy et al, the `joined` form is accorded specific status - the `fused burnished brass` and the authors state...."until recently thought to be conspecific with chrysitis" [=burnished brass]. They go on to say that any doubts regarding the validity of the new species are now resolved following dissection of specimens. It is predicted to be widespread and that "examples where the two brassy forewing bands are joined by a bar of the same colour that is at least 3mm in width are almost certainly the current [ie fused burnished brass] species".
The photos below (all of moths at Tyrwaun last night) show, firstly, the `original burnished brass` ie f.aurea, thirdly the putative new species `fused burnished brass` [ex f.juncta] and, in between (photo no2) both taxa with a third specimen, again like `ex juncta` but of a lighter hue (not due to angle of light).


  1. Ian, I think the 'gap' species, D stenochrysis has not been confirmed in the UK yet - it sounds like the 'joined' species, D chrysitis, sometimes has the gap, i.e. the markings are variable.

    Here's what Les Hill had to say on the matter recently, on the UKMoths e-group: "To the best of my knowledge Diachrysia stenochrysis isn't confirmed in the British Isles. It is a distinct species in Asia and has been apparently
    confirmed in Eastern Europe but by what method (genitalia, DNA...) I know
    not. I'm not accepting any records of D. stenochrysis into the National Moth
    Recording Scheme".


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thanks for clarifying George....the authors stated that it had been confirmed in Scotland and somewhere in SE Eng.

  3. Yes that's what I thought...I'm not really sure what to make of it all!