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Friday, 30 August 2013

The Last Two Nights

On Wednesday night the MV trap and a small actinic produced nothing startling, although a Swallowtail in prime condition was nice to see, as were two Centre-barred Sallows (no Sallows yet), Angle Shades and Swallow prominent.  Last night the large (22W) actinic did rather better, in spite of the drizzle in the evening.  Inspecting the trap before retiring I collected a small unfamiliar noctuid from an adjacent wall.  Initially I marked it down as a White-line Dart, but now suspect that it's a Heath Rustic (the two species seem to have very similar features, but the timing and location made the latter seem more likely).  Also in the catch was an Oblique Carpet, my first I think, and an LBJ (little brown job) which I can't put a name to, looks as though it might be a Udea sp. from it's shape, but it's much smaller than the two I usually get here (U.prunalis and U.olivalis) and lacks the distinctive white legs.  Help with this one would be much appreciated, if the photos are up to it.
Flame Shoulders and Feathered gothics were the most numerous, Large Yellow Underwings seem to be on the decline, as do July Highfliers which are beginning to look a bit tatty as well.

Heath Rustic (?)



  1. Yes, Chris....that`s a heath rustic (I should know after my confusion last`s imprinted on me now!). Look at the rich reddy colours and the black arrows pointing upwards from the back of the forewings.
    Well done - a nice record. Interesting too to read of species that you get that I don`t....the variation from locality to locality.

  2. Yes Ian, I thought that it was a carbon copy of the one you posted confusedly a few days ago! The colour was very distinctive.

  3. The Pyralid is Pyrausta despicata (=cespitalis). They look really interesting, similar to various migrants like sticticalis, but I've potted up 3 or 4 over the years during late summer migrant peaks and ended with disappointment!

  4. Thank you Sam. I wouldn't have i.d.'d it from the Field Guide, the illustration is more colourful than my moth and the flighty little beggar hasn't allowed me a good look at the hindwings (the underside is prettier though). I will keep a look out for it's more colourful cousins, but Chris Manley's book gives the impression that Pyrausta spp. inhabit calcareous regions which seems poles apart from the acidic pasture around here.